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Panighiri at Kathara Monastery
Thursday 7th September, 2006...
The almost full moon casts a smoky veil over Ithaki and the Ionian as we drive to the Kathara Monastery high up on the island for the Festival of Katharon. Below, the lights around the bay of Vathy sparkle and the sea that embraces them, and in which they reflect, shimmers silver grey under the rising moon. Traditionally locals would make their way up the mountain, eat and drink with the Monks and sleep at the Monastery so that the next day they could attend the Service in the Chapel. At this Panighiri it's clear that the Feast is spiritually significant to Ithacans, and the celebration is tethered by this holy significance. There is no 'Live' band, although Dimo, the drummer of the Panighiri band, is the dj. There are as many people inside and outside the chapel, as there are around the Grill and the dance floor. Kathara Monastery has an old world charm that remains untouched by modern living, and the Priest and the caretakers of the Monastery, retain, as best they can, the traditions in which the Kathara Monastery is steeped.
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