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Feast of St. Illias - Kioni Panighiri
Thursday 20th July 2006 in the Village of Kioni Ithaki Greece
From the minute the band started to play, there were people itching to dance. The crowd gathered around the dance floor to give support to the dancing pioneers. It's always a little nerve racking to start the proceedings, so a little applause and encouragement doesn't go astray. The band had noticeably better audience awareness and kept the dance floor pumping from start to finish. The good thing about any Panighiri is that it doesn't matter whether you have rhythm or not, no one will be watching your feet because everyone is too busy taking part to be critical of the dance moves of others. Glide, jerk or bounce. It's all ok at the Panighiri and that's just how it should be.

When it all gets a little too much, you could always retreat to the far side of the bay to sit on the Pier and listen to the masts tinkle under the moon, or find a quiet corner at one of the far side tables. One thing people always ask, is why does everyone walk from end to end and then back again? The answer is simple, you can't see everyone if you're standing still, so the Volta around the bay is compulsory for a complete social experience.
When the action starts to die down in Kioni center, the crowd begins to make its' way up to Spavento Cafe Bar, where Kioni Panighiris have been traditionally ended since the bar began in business. Yiorgos and Jennie make sure they hire the toughest staff to withstand the long hours of torture, that the 'last to leave a Panighiri' inflict on them. The Panighiri band were happy for the break. They'd been playing for 8 hours without intermission, so when the crowd began to thin on the dance floor and moved to Spavento, where 60s' music rumbled under the tiles, they took the opportunity to flea before another local requested his favourite song.
When the Spavento cleaner turned at 6am, there were around 100 people still partying after the Panighiri. Yiorgos, the owner, left at 8am along with some of his staff. Guess it's safe to say that the Kioni Panighiri was a great success. Looks like Ithaki can still muster up some wild and sweaty nights when it really tries. In Summer on Ithaca, the question really is 'When will the party ever end?'