LL10 G.jpg (107271 bytes)

A SAINT’S DAY FESTIVAL

This scene shows the unpaved village square (it was paved with marble slabs under orders from the Italian garrison sometime after May 1941). A crowd stands between a windmill and a small chapel opposite the village church from whose steps or wall the photo was taken, the photographer facing almost directly west. The island of Santorini lies several miles away in the background. The plate is titled "Festival, Anafi 1938", eorti Anafi, in the lower right-hand corner, and the word "Anafi" appears to the left of centre. The crowd is grouped around an ikon of the Panayia which has been identified as coming from a village chapel (dedicated to one of the feasts of the Virgin, the Dormition, Kimisis) rather than from the main village church. The man holding the ikon has been identified, as have a number of people in the crowd, and some of them were known to me during my fieldwork in the sixties. Informants have suggested that the festival being celebrated is Isodhia tis Theotoku (the Presentation of the Virgin) which occurs on 21 November and on the island was the day on which unmarried women called Maria celebrated their name-day. Note that although a winter dating is suggested, and a number of people are wearing overcoats or heavy clothing, some of the children are bare-foot. The direction of the shadows (from the south-east) suggests that the picture was taken before noon. One priest is visible, in ceremonial robes and holding a censer (he is the priest on the left in JJ10A). A man in sailor’s uniform is in the back row of the crowd, directly behind the ikon. Two policemen are visible behind a man in hat and overcoat who stands beside the line of children. Another two policemen stand further to the left.