Celebration of Ai Giannis Klidonas

Celebration of Ai Giannis Klidonas

June 24 marks one of the largest summer celebrations on Naxos. The nickname Klidonas is derived from the ancient Greek word klidon, meaning prognostic sound and used to describe the combination of random and incoherent words uttered during divination rituals.

Essentially, Klidonas is linked with a popular divination ritual said to reveal the identity of future husbands to unmarried girls.

On the evening of June 23, the eve of Agios Ioannis (St John) celebrations, Naxos locals gather at squares, light fires, and burn their May Day wreaths, each participant jumping over the fire three times.

The role of the fire in these proceedings is one of purification, expelling all evil.

The event in some villages is accompanied by certain women’s customs, such as drinking specially designated water, or eating fig leaves in salt and savory pies, which are supposed to make unmarried girls dream of the man they will marry.

In some mountain villages, locals make a human-like figure out of hay, which ends up in the fire. Celebrations with music and dance follow.

Related posts