Monday was the Panagyri. In it's most simplified description, its the huge town festival that Mikines celebrates in honor of it's patron saint, Pantalaimon. The festivities occur the day before the Saint's day, while the actual day of the saint is devoted to prayer and fasting. On the night before there's a huge mass, where everyone in town who's religious attempts to shove themselves into the tiny, byzantine style church in the middle of town (complete with neon cross atop it), and all those who are non-religious (like myself and all the people that I'm with), just sort of crowd around the adjacent buildings, waiting for the procession to commence through the town. On this particular Panagyri it rained, a warm rain with big fat drops, so we had to take refuge cramming ourselves beneath an overhang while the church ceremony was performed, and broadcasted over a loud speaker. Then we processed through town by moonlight and incense, periodically stopping in random places on the way to the food, where the priest would chang something in Greek, do some incensing, and then be on his way, complete with a dais holding the icon of the saint. All together a very holy/ religious experience. I'm pretty sure I was walking next to the town hooker for most of the procession. She was wearing a skimpy white dress. Oh the irony of it all.
The food was delicious with pork, Greek salad, french fries, tzatziki, bread, wine, and soda. After we were done eating we all headed over to the one and only bar in town and took shots of Sambouka while lighting our thumbs on fire. I will try to borrow one of Sam's pictures of the endevour. It resulted in a disgusting taste in my mouth and a slightly burning thumb.
Throughout much of the procession Sam and I were dogged by this British/Turkish boy who was staying at our hostel, and who we invited to dinner with us the night before because a) he spoke English and b) he looked lonely. We only later figured out that he was probably just looking for some ass. Sam and I wanted none of that. He just sort of awkwardly followed us and the grad students around until we sort of ditched him when we went to eat because Dr. S had reserved a table for just us and the grad students, and we didnt know if he would be allowed to join. I think he took it a little personally. Especially when we ran into him later, when we were all a little drunk, and he tried to start a fight between us and the hooker (a failed attempt) and then told us that the Dickinson kids were really cool. He also ragged on my 2 week trip through Turkey, saying that I was staying in boring places that only had nature, and that Ankara was also boring because it had no bars. Oh no! Good thing he left yesterday, since it started getting awkward when we'd run into him at breakfast and he's say things like "so you guys missed the trick on the Dickinson kids" (whatever that means). We're not sure how much he told them that we rag on them. Oh well, they leave on Saturday, which means that we dont have to deal with them protentiously saying "KALY NICHTA!" to us when we run into them in town. Sam and I drunkenly yelled that at them when we were walking home from the Panagyri. I'm not sure if they knew that we were mocking them. It was an epic moment, though.