The great festivities – the festivals on Tinos – are linked with Mother Mary, the protector of the island. On January the 30th, the miraculous discovery of the Holiest Mother’s (Panagia’s) Icon is celebrated in Chora, the island’s capital, with people holding lanterns. That night, in 1823, all the island’s inhabitants rushed to see the Virgin Mary’s Icon as a promise for liberation from the Turkish Occupation. On July the 23rd, the island celebrates St. Pelagia whose vision led people to excavate and find Mother Mary’s Icon. Every year, on the same day, the Icon is solemnly transferred on foot in a holy procession from the Church in Chora to the Kechrovounio Monastery. On August the 15th, the Day of the Dormition of the Holiest Mother of God, even the Hellenic Navy's official band escorts the procession of the miraculous Icon up to Her Temple, in Chora.
The whole island lays under The Holy Protection of our Mother Mary. Joining the processional litany during these great festivities, you get the chance to walk around the island’s blessed paths of faith and picturesque grandeur.
Throughout the year, nearly all villages celebrate local festivals to honour their Saints. At Triantaros, where the Aeolis Tinos Residences are situated, two festivals take place, on the 29th and 30th of June, celebrating Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and all the Holy Apostles. A service in their honour is held at the church of the village dedicated to them (Agioi Apostoloi).
The annual festival of Tinos features a variety of artistic events throughout the summer, from about mid-May up to the end of September. Look out (and ask your host at the ‘Aeolis Tinos Suites’) for the theatrical plays, concerts, and painting, photography and sculpture exhibitions.
Towards the end of July, at the International Literary Festival, you can attend recitations or book readings from poets and authors from all over the globe, in their native language. Tinian writers carry an unequal burden against the latter: How difficult is it indeed to exalt an island that stands in the ages so pure amidst the sky and sea?
In the musical stave things are more straightforward. The entire summer, local bands generously shed Aegean music over bright stones and kind waves.
In the last days of August, the Tinian Jazz Festival bids farewell to the summer with a sweet melancholy from amazing Hellenic and foreign jazz players.
Events that live on from ancient times
An important event for the local families has always been the butchering of the pig that takes place in wintertime. In the old days, the entire village was invited for the butchering of the family pig – everybody helped and all participated in the treat. Nowadays, pig breeding families are only a few, however, if you find yourselves on Tinos in the winter, you will be lucky to be invited to such a pork feast celebrated with good Tinian wine.
At the last Thursday (Tsiknopempti) of meat-eating, before the forty-day Eastern Lent, the ‘Alphabet of Love’ is celebrated at Triantaros where the ‘Aeolis’ is located. The locals dance in a circle and each sings a satirical verse of their own inspiration in sequence.
At the end of June, at the Artichoke Festival at Komi village, you can get a taste of local recipes based on the Tinian artichoke while listening to folk Cycladic tunes.
At the sounds of live local music, you will enjoy the Honey Festival at the end of August at Kambos village, with traditional deserts of Tinos, such as ‘psarakia’ (fried dumplings stuffed with wallnuts, cinnamon and cloves), ‘diples’ (thin fried dough crusts), ‘pasteli’, ‘melomakarona’, walnuts with honey, semolina chalva, yogurt with honey, ‘loukoumades’ (fried dumplings)… all prepared with locally produced honey. Enjoy the sweet Tinian folk melodies of local chord instruments (lyres and lutes). The Hellenic words for ‘honey’ (meli) and ‘melody’ (melodia) have the same root. Once on Tinos, try to have a taste of a language that has built its civilisation syllable by syllable.