Agios Nikolaos in Keratsini

During Saint Nicholas day, the Icon is carried by boats in a small church in Keratsini, Piraeus. A very interesting custom, taking place in the center of Piraeus.
Photography / Text: Michael Pappas

It is the Eve of Saint Nicholas day and I am at home in Piraeus. 

I remembered there was a small church of Saint Nicholas in a small port of Keratisini, about ten minutes away. I got in the car and went for a Tsipouro (traditional alcoholic drink made of distilled grapes). Maybe they are up to something. 

I asked whether something was going on at the joint I went for Tsipouro and they told me they were definitely having an Evening Prayer. I paid and went to the church a bit earlier. There, I find some people who informed me that the Icon would be coming from the sea and the prayer would follow. 

I saw the boats leaving one by one to fetch the Icon. I found out the exact spot where the Icon would come ashore. It is just opposite the church. I have to go around along the port. By the time I got there, people have gathered. The boats start to approach and at the same time, people light smoke agents. The sky is filled in smoke when the Icon gets ashore. 

People take the Icon and carry it by hand to the church along with the musicians. 

The Icon is placed on a stand in front of the church, so people can pass along and worship. Later the prayer starts and blessed bread is given to all he attendants. 

Night has fallen. I stayed a bit more in case the big electricity production chimney that lies next to the church was lit, so that I could use it for my images, but I was not that lucky. 

#boat #church #saint #Icon #litany #port #worship #nicholas #religion

Location

Agios Nikolaos in Keratsini

1 Propontidos Keratsini
Keratsini, Attica, Greece