Chirosfaya in Menites

A three day festival where a boar is cooked and prepared in the traditional way
Photography / Text: George Tatakis

Menites is a traditional village near the capital of Andros island. The history of the village goes back to the ancient times and here is supposed to be the origin of Maenads. In Greek mythology, these were the women following Dionysus and the most important members of his company (Thiasus). 

Menites is supposed to be the origin of Maenads

The village is quite famous among tourists during the summer, especially for the springs at the centre. Lion heads made of stone pour fresh water out of their mouths. These are springs with extremely clear water that is also bottled and sold in different parts of the country. 

This is actually an ancient tradition with Pagan routes. Chirosfaya took place everywhere in Greece and are still practised in many places around the country. Families who own a boar will kill it during the winter, in the period between October to December and prepare sausages, lard and other produces to keep for the year that follows. 

In order to see the tradition you have to know a specific family and when they are going to do this. Luckily, every year, usually late October the village of Menites in Andros island, organises an event for people and visitors to see the traditional Chirosfaya. 

The date is not fixed every year, it is arranged to be carried out during a weekend. The local club announces it well in advance. As soon as they do, the date will be updated in pculiar too to a more specific one. Despina is the president of the club, but they have many members as well as many volunteers. 

Kostas is your man when it comes to preparing the boar and gives directions to the people helping out. 

The boar is being meticulously cleaned of the hair and cut into pieces. This is a lot of work and being done by many people helping. 

After the boar is cut they start preparing many delicacies. The most famous of which are the smoked sausages, which are prepared the following day. Women of the club cut the meat into small pieces, add salt, pepper, anise and fennel and fill the boars intestine.

The most famous delicacy of the day are the smoked sausages with flavours of anise and fennel

The sausages are then hanged in a DIY construction above burning wood that smokes them for five or six hours. Later they are being cooked in the boar's lard and then placed in cans. These cans are the prize of a lottery performed on the third day of the event. 

There is a party on the second night with traditional music and dancing and people from all over the island come to attend. 

Thank you note:

  • Fast Ferries
  • Mainades hotel, Menites

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Chirosfaya in Menites

Epar.Od. Androu-Korthiou, Menites 845 00, Greece
Menites, South Aegean, Greece

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Piges - Karidies, Old Tavern

Epar.Od. Androu-Korthiou Menites
Andros, South Aegean, Greece