Messolonghi Simiou Panigyri 24 - 31st May 2018
Messolonghi Simiou Panigyri 24 - 31st May 2018
We will show you the old traditional festivals mainly organised in provincial Greece for this photographic treat.
We have chosen to photograph and document the panigiri of Agios Simionnear Messolonghi. With a wealth of visual excitement to get the creative juices flowing, from stunning costumes to traditional wind instruments and religious parades.
This feast is one of the most important and most historic in the country, organised in summer. It is unique for it’s duration and varied events, faithful, traditional and rhythmic it unites all participants in a unique way with a historic and religious character. The monastery was founded around 1740 and the celebration of the armed men is a victory of freedom, peace and also of summer, joy and life. All festivities also commemorate the dead in the siege against the Ottomans.
When’s the next one? 24 - 31 May 2018
How much is it? £3,100
Thursday 24th May
Arrive in Athens to unwind and settle in. A chance to get to know each other and then a tour of the picturesque centre of Athens taking in famous and photogenic areas such as Plaka, Monastiraki and of course the Acropolis!
Dinner at the hotel.
Friday 25th May
Breakfast at the hotel and then hit the road to Delphi to consult the Oracle about our important life and photographic decisions! For the Ancient Greeks, Delphi was considered the centre of the world represented by the stone monument known as the Omphalos of Delphi. The stunning scenery around Mount Parnassos makes for the perfect location for some landscape photography and the archaeological site is a UNESCO world heritage site.
Lunch at Nafpaktos on the way to Messolonghi. Check into the hotel and settle in. Dinner together in town.
Saturday 26th May
“He who loves not his country can love nothing” - Lord Byron
We’ll visit the salt flats or “alykes”. These are the largest saltpans in operation in Greece. Salt has played a crucial role in the history of civilization and in Greece. In fact, in ancient Greece it was used as a commodity for trading slaves. It is said that the time held expression of “not worth his salt” came from this practice. Also, in ancient times, most civilizations were accompanied by myths, religious and magic rites involving salt and Greece was no exception. With tales of its usage during sacrifices and religious rituals, the history of salt is as exotic as is the amazing alykes, or salt marsh gardens that extend for miles on end in Messolonghi, Greece.
Salt has played a crucial role in the history of civilization and in Greece. In fact, in ancient Greeceit was used as a commodity for trading slaves. It is said that the time held expression of “not worth his salt” came from this practice. Also, in ancient times, most civilizations were accompanied by myths, religious and magic rites involving salt and Greece was no exception. With tales of its usage during sacrifices and religious rituals, the history of salt is as exotic as is the amazing alykes, or salt marsh gardens that extend for miles on end in Messolonghi, Greece.
We will also see Panagia Finikia which was a favourite church of Lord Byron and overlooks the saltpans. The beautiful church, pink colour to the water from the mineral salt and the reflections of the endless sky make for some great photographic opportunities.
As night falls street musicians begin to play traditional songs on local wind instruments called pipiza to welcome in the Panigyri festivities. With so much local colour to soak up from traditional costumes to street food and dancing. All of which make for a very atmospheric and photogenic night.
Sunday 27th May (Pentacost)
Sunrise photography at Tourlida
Free time to recover and have breakfast.
Flamingo photography on the other side of town if we get lucky. Patience is a virtue!
Lunch in town.
Free program in the afternoon.
In the evening we head to the Simeon Monastery for the Panyigyri parade
Eating and dancing with big tables of food at the monastery. The men traditionally perform the dances.
Monday 28th May Holy Spirit day.
A visit to the church cut into the mountains at Panagia Eleousa. Overlooking some fantastically rugged and beautiful scenery.
in the afternoon we will be doing a location portrait photography workshop. Taking advantage of the many visually stunning backdrops that the area has to offer and teaching you about expression, posing, lighting and more.
In the evening we photograph the procession and the city centre celebrations with eating, dancing, music and traditional costumes.
Tuesday 29th May
In the morning we head back to Simeon Monastery to observe praying for those who died during the Exodus of Messolonghi and baptisms of the Roma children who traditionally come to the monastery for this time of year.
An afternoon photo critique will give you a chance to reflect on the images you have made so far on the trip and provide direction for future improvement.
Last dinner in Messolonghi
Wednesday 30th May
Drive back to Athens via the Rio-Antirrio bridge near Patras where we will take the boat across the Gulf of Corinth to photograph this incredible feat of engineering.
Goodbye dinner at the hotel and some free time in Athens for those that want to have a final wonder.
Thursday 31st May
Final goodbyes and flights home.