For 25 years there has been a slowly growing tradition on the Saturday night the last weekend before the start of lent. It started spontaneously when a company, the Naxos Film Club, danced in the steps of the primordial Bacchus, spirit of Dionysos. Dionysos is the god of winemaking and wine, of fertility, ritual madness, religious ecstasy, and theatre in ancient Greek religion and myth. Now the tradition has taken on a life of it’s own. For a few hours the streets of Chora are filled with uniform chanting, the soothing beat of drums, fire lights the way and light, smoke and colour fill the atmosphere. Starting at the top of the castle hoards paint their faces white and black, don white sheets, tie belts of straw around their waists and light torches. They celebrate, laugh and party until the wee hours. This year thousands poured to the streets to be part of the celebrations.
My Dad’s Marsaxlokk derives its name from the Arabic word marsa, meaning harbour, and Maltese for the south-easterly Mediterranean wind, the Xlokk (Scirocco in Italian). village has certainly changed a lot since the last time I was there but there were still a few familiar things around, in addition to my relatives, to give it that fishing village vibe. I would suggest going on any day other than Sunday until they sort out the situation with the markets, it has grown out of control but there is a plan in place to change that. If you do go be sure to visit the recently renovated Duncan Bar and Guest House
A recent trip to Malta reminded me of just how enchanting this little country is. Plenty to see and do for even the most seasoned traveller and some hidden gems for the foodies too.
A perfect Sunday for a hike in the hills. Naxos hides many secrets, one of which is this gorgeous waterfall a rocky, slippery hike from Keramoti. Sweeping valleys and craggy mountain tops sooth the soul on the way to this hidden treasure. Routsouna Waterfall.
This Autumn I was determined to take the family out on walks. This was the first! To the monastery Fotodotis Danakos, Naxos.
The Monastery of Fotodoti Christ is the oldest monastery of Naxos.
There are several theories about the date that was built. Others consider it was built in 1182 AD. and others in 1497 AD, on the debris of an ancient castle.
The years of Frankish rule are the peak of the monastery. Several years later he was recognized as a patron of the Monastery of Agios Ioannis the Theologian of Patmos. The hagiographies and inscriptions of the temple date from the Byzantine era.