Agios Nektarios

This chapel in the centre of the village is dedicated to St Nektarios; the saint’s name day is celebrated on 9th November. We hold our annual MyPefkos Festival of Tastes and Traditions here; usually the third week in September … watch out for information!

Agios Ioannis

This chapel dates back to the 1600s and is dedicated to St John the Baptist; this saint’s name day is celebrated on 6th January. In recent years there has been a panagyri (Greek Orthodox church festival with dancing and music) held here around the 20th of July to coincide with the feast day for the Prophet Elijah (see below and watch out in resort for information).

Profitis Ilias

This chapel is dedicated to the Prophet Elijah or Elias; chapels dedicated to him are always located at the highest points of hills or mountains. The most sacred icons from the church in Lindos are brought to the chapel in a midnight procession once each year on Maundy Thursday.

This saint’s name day is celebrated on 20th July and in recent years a Greek Orthodox church festival, called a “panagyri” has been held at the Agios Ioannis chapel in celebration of the feast. The festival is always held the day before the name day and features a church service, traditional live music and dancing.

Agios Thomas

This tiny chapel is dedicated to St Thomas; the name day for St Thomas is celebrated on the Tuesday after Easter and so is a moveable feast day.

What's in a name and what's a nameday?

Namedays are a special and important part of Greek life because the actual names themselves go back to the very beginning of Greek culture. Dating back through the ages are the names of heroes, saints and mythological figures such as Heraklis, Odysseus, Alexander, Socrates, Plato, Constantine, Helen and many more. Most of these names have changed little over time and are still used today.

Greek babies are almost always named after grandparents and (once all the grandparents’ names have been re-used) other relatives; this is why you will find many first cousins with identical names (Christian names and surnames) and the only way to tell them apart is by the practice of inserting their fathers’ names into their names … “son of … ” and for this reason any and every document issued by the Greek authorities will ask for your father’s name!

In the beginning of the Greek Orthodox religion, feast day celebrations were mainly observed as saints’ days, but later became individual ‘namedays’. Nowadays namedays are considered much more important (and easier to remember) than a person’s actual birthday. It is customary throughout Greece that when a person has a nameday, he or she gives an ‘open-house’ party where refreshments are offered to relatives, friends and acquaintances alike.

When someone is celebrating their nameday it’s usual to call or visit them to wish them ‘chronia polla’, or ‘be blessed with many years’ and also ‘na ziseis’ or ‘ live long’. When visiting your ‘nameday’ friend, take along a gift (typical gifts are sweets, pastries, chocolates, flowers or a plant).

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