Feast on the Kandili mountain

The annual celebration of this church takes place at its beautiful location up in the mountain. It really worths driving through a terrible dirt road to reach.
Photography / Text: Michael Pappas

I found myself at my parents home in Northern Euboea island and I decided to visit Prokopi, the second village next to mine, around 10km away. 

There is a small church up in the mountain at that village and was celebrating the next day. I found the locals who would go up the mountain and I follow them with my car. 

After a while, the road started being very bad so I lost them. The locals were using SUVs or pickup trucks because they knew the road was not good. I just had a normal car and it was rather difficult to move. At some points I really thought of turning back. I was checking my phone's signal so I would be able to make a call should anything happened. It is a 10km dirt road with large rocks extruding here and there. Proceeding at a very slow speed, I managed to reach and I was very happy I did because of the beautiful location.

People had already set up camp to spend the night and were picking fire wood to light fires and cook the meat they had brought along. 

The Evening Mass started and by the time it finished it was dark. The fires were lit and the meat is on fire. People have brought special vessels filled with ice to keep their drinks cool. You could hear generators running which would keep the lights on and the music playing. There is food and drink until late at night when the generators have run out of gas. There is dance around the fire and at some time everything suddenly stopped because of the generators. The good mood however didn't stop, so everyone started singing with no music and were using battery flashlights to just barely see each other.

In order to reach the car to go to sleep, I had to pass through a herd of cows. At first I was scared because I heard there were boars around the area, but then realised they were just cows. The temperature was really low, even though it was August. I had to use my sleeping bag to be able to sleep. That was due to the high altitude.

I woke up by the sound of the church bells.  Someone had laid his mattress at the truck of a pickup and slept there. This truck was used to carry the dead to the cemetery because there is no hearse at the village. Everyone was making fun of him the next morning.

I knew they would start cooking around a certain spot since very early in the morning. I went through there. They were preparing chickpeas with 'manestra' (orzo) to feed the visitors. 

The Mass reached its end and the priest came by to bless the food before they give it to the people.

Many of the people took the opportunity to pick up some oregano from the mountain and I filled about 10 bottles of water from the local spring. The water there is considered to be very pure. 

#dance #food #adventure #celebration #church #music #mountain #religion


Feast on the Kandili mountain

Unnamed Road, Mantoudi Limni Agia Anna 340 04, Ελλάδα
Prokopi, Central Greece, Greece