One of the most notable festivals of Anafi is organized on September 8 (the Birth of the Virgin Mary) in honor of Panagia Kalamiotissa, the Virgin of Anafi. On the eve, September 7, almost all the inhabitants of the island took the things they would need with them (food, bedding...) and went to the Monastery. It was like one big and group move. Some with animals, others on foot, but most in boats, if Garbis didn't do his thing, they took the road to the Monastery. In Chora usually only the old people stayed behind. The atmosphere was oppressive, but at the same time, the mood for celebration and happiness was great. After the service in the Church ended, everyone lined up for dinner, which was always goat from the Monastery's estates. Then there was the tsambouna and the dance. The next day, September 8, after the Divine Liturgy everyone returned to the country and the feast continued there. In addition to the Anafiites, the festival was also attended by many Santorinians who come to worship at the Monastery of Anafi.
Today the pilgrims now go to the monastery by car, because a road leading to the monastery was opened, and they are not used to spending the night in the cells of the Monastery, they prefer to return to their homes. Certainly the color of the traditional celebration, where the entire island celebrated, has now faded. The only thing that has not changed in the Monastery is the imposing rock that dominates from above, recalling with nostalgia the beautiful moments of the Kalamiotissa Festival, as it was celebrated in other times.
In Anafi, the cultural festivals "Yakinthia" are organized in August, which include various events (sports, music and dance, etc.).
The pure Anafiotiko honey The Anafiotiko zafforisto (with yolk) bread. Housewives make it on New Year's. It is baked in the traditional fourni (wood-fired oven) and takes on a bright yellow color and has the special spicy taste of saffron. The handmade sausages, made from pork, lots of vinegar and spices. Ladotiri, xialotiro, armi, myzithra (made with oregano or olive oil)
Traditional dishes of Anafi are:
Aimathies of Tsiknopepti: Pig intestines, stuffed with rice, parsley, dill, with egg-lemon sauce.
Karvoumas: Chopped pork phlegmon (lung), fried with onion and cooked with saffron. It is eaten mixed with cheese and egg.
Pretzels: Balls of dough, boiled in goat's milk. It is served in the form of soup
Braised goat: served with potatoes or spaghetti.
Sausages: A delicacy made as in all the Cyclades, from pork and aromatic herbs.
Pitaria (local spaghetti): Homemade spaghetti made from a thin sheet of dough that is dried in the sun. They are eaten boiled, accompanied by tomato sauce and local grated cheese.
Jonari: Salted pork braised in wine and cooked with onions, potatoes and spices.
Chilardia: Pig's head, boiled with vinegar, pepper, cinnamon and saffron.
Saffron bread: Cheese bread (with feta cheese) scented with saffron.
Garlic balls: small cylindrical pieces of dough, like spaghetti. After boiling, they are served with tomato sauce, garlic and cheese
Sweet Fillings: Lots of sesame, almonds, orange zest and cinnamon cloves, inside crescents of thin dough that are fried and drizzled with syrup.
Cufeto: Pure Anafiot honey mixed with peeled almonds. It is the wedding dessert of the spoon of several islands of the Cyclades, including Anafi.
Melitera: Sweet cheese pies with local mizithra, eggs, sugar and vanilla. It is a local sweet treat that is traditionally prepared and consumed at Easter.
Xerotigana: Sheets of thin dough, cut into various shapes, fried, honeyed and sprinkled with sesame or coconut.
Sesame honey: Roasted and ground sesame, mixed with honey and cinnamon. The sesame honey. they give it at weddings together with the buffet, to strengthen the newlyweds
Editor: Fotini Anastasopoulou