The is the Cycladic island is famous for the many customs and traditions it has. Here are some of the most typical customs of Tinos that have been preserved to this day.
Every year, on January 30, the anniversary of the discovery of the miraculous icon of Panagia Evangelistria is celebrated. According to legend, after extensive excavations in the area, the miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary was located on January 30.The wonderful news quickly spread across the island, with residents from every corner of Tinos rushing to Chora carrying lanterns that lit their way.
To this day, this joyous occasion is celebrated by the Tinians with a torchlight procession that starts at night from the courtyard of the Holy Temple of Evangelistria and ends at the port of the island. This bright night is completed with fireworks and singing at the port, in a cheerful and festive atmosphere. Both locals and tourists hold wooden lanterns, usually decorated with the image of the Virgin Mary or the historic warship «Elli».
Easter in Tinos is accompanied by great celebrations in very corner of the island. If you happen to be on the island at Easter, you will have many options and the overall experience will be one not easily forgotten. Good Friday in Chora is a magical night full of light. The epitaph processions meet during the litany, while the epitaph procession of the church of Agios Nikolaos continues into the sea, with lit torches creating a magical atmosphere in the port of Tinos.
On Holy Saturday, you may like to head north, to the fishing village of Panormos, where all visitors come together in the port of the village. The most special Eastertime custom is “trimbonia”, which is a must-see occasion. “Trimbonia” takes place after the Resurrection of Jesus Christ at the village of Pyrgos and most other Tinian villages. In “Trimbonia”, people shoot a specific type of old naval weapons with a small barrel into the air during the church service, making impressive, loud explosive noises.
Dekapentavgoustos (August 15)
The island of Tinos has been closely linked to the celebration of the 15th of August for a reason.This is a very important day for Tinos, as it is a double celebration. Apart from a tribute to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, this day is also the anniversary of the torpedoing of the warship “Elli”..
The preparations for the festivities on the island start in early August. On August 15, warships and the band of the Navy arrive on the island, while the Commander of the Navy pays tribute to the Mausoleum of the “Elli” with a wreath. At night, the town is illuminated and decorated.
On the day of the feast, the Divine Liturgy takes place, during which the Commander of the Navy and a government representative throw a wreath into the sea, at the spot where the “Elli” sank. Then, the procession of the holy icon of the Virgin Mary follows, with the Navy band performing. The procession comes to an end when it reaches the marble platform on Pantanassis Square, with funeral marches in the background accompanying this moment.
Raki is the traditional drink of Tinos. It is an integral part of the Tinian gastronomy and you can find it everywhere. The place where it is produced is called “rakizio” omy and you can find it everywhere. The place where it is produced is called “rakizio”, but this term is now used to describe both the production process and raki-related celebrations. In the past, rakizio owners were allowed to distill raki only once a year.
Although this law is no longer in force, rakizio owners on the island of Tinos follow the same traditional production process. Every year, in September, there is a festival to celebrate the distillation of raki. Raki is produced all around Tinos, but Falatados and Steni are famous for their raki variety.
Chirosfagia (Pig slaughter)
Tinos Chirosfagia (Pig slaughter) traditionally takes place in the features some during November or December. In the past, pigs were considered an integral part of a home economy, considering that one pig could feed a whole family for an entire year. For this reason, the slaughter of the animal was an occasion for celebration with music, food and raki, with the presence of friends and relatives of the family.
Although now the procedure is not the same as in the past, Chirosfagia is still revived in many Tinian villages in a cheerful atmosphere of celebration.
Traditional Tinian weddings are influenced by both the orthodox and the catholic religious dogma. Traditionally, on the day of the wedding, the barber of the village goes to the groom's house to give him a haircut. Later, the young men of the village help the groom get dressed and the young women help the bride get ready. The wedding procession is accompanied by a group of musicians who play folk instruments, like the lute or the violin. After that, guests visit the house of the couple and are offered traditional appetizers and marzipan bites and nut brittles..
On June 24, on the day of the celebration in honor of Agios Ioannis Fotaras or Klidonas, a special tradition is revived in the village of Isternia. A few days before this great celebration, the villagers place an object into “klidonas”, a box, which then gets sealed until the process is complete. On the day of the celebration, the villagers unseal “klidonas” and pick an object at random. If someone wants to take back their own item, they have to recite some lyrics to the person holding that item. Then, a feast follows and traditional pie is offered to the attendees.
Every year, on Low Sunday, a rather original custom is revived in the village of Isternia. At the festival of Panagia Lakotiani, after the end of the Divine Liturgy, Rodaria takes place. Traditionally, all the worshippers sit together at a table with abundant food and feast. During the banquet, they exchange small flower bouquets and Easter wishing cards with their beloved ones.