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All but Alone in a Wrought-Iron World 15th-century church atmospheric setting for unique museum
 

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GREECE

Naxos

 

Traditions on Naxos

Fodor’s Essential Greek Islands, 1st edition

“ALL OVER Greece,” says the 1st edition of Fodor’s Essential Greek Islands, “villages, towns, and cities have traditional celebrations that vary from joyous to deeply serious.” Among those held on the Greek islands, the guidebook points out several that take place on Naxos.

“Great sweetness and tranquility” was how Greek novelist Nikos Kazantzakis described Naxos, one of the larger and among the greenest and most fertile of the Greek islands. “Naxos is full of history and monuments,” says the guidebook, “classical temples, medieval monasteries, Byzantine churches, Venetian towers.” It also has excellent beaches.

In Naxos Town (also called Chora) during the first week of August the Dionysia festival celebrates the ancient god of wine with concerts, costumed folk dancers and free food and wine in the town square.

Apeiranthos, a picturesque mountain village 32 kilometres southeast of Naxos Town, celebrates Carnival, preceding Lent, with bell-wearers who run “from house to house making as much noise as possible with strings of bells tied around their waists. They’re a disconcerting sight in their hooded cloaks, as they escort a man dressed as a woman from house to house to collect eggs.” Also in Apeiranthos, on the last Sunday in Lent, villagers with blackened faces square off in satirical rhyming-verse contests.

The village has one more quirk: “as you walk through the arcades and alleys, notice the unusual chimneys—no two are alike.” A small archaeological museum has third-millennium-B.C. marble plaques showing scenes of everyday life.

 

www.fodors.com

 

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