St.John Klidonas

One of the village customs is reviving the custom of St. John Klidonas, held by the Cultural Association of Perithori in June, at the yard of the Cultural Association building. As everyone knows, this custom comes with the traditional jump over bonfires. The feast of St. John Klidonas is one of the most important manifestations of the Greek tradition. The word "Klidonas" comes from the ancient Greek word "klidon", which means a predicting sound and it was used to describe the combination of random and incoherent words during a divination ritual, as reported by the Cultural Association of Perithori, which points out that “Klidonas is essentially related to a popular divination process, which is said to reveal the identity of their future spouse to unmarried girls.

According to the custom, on the eve of St. John’s feast day, the young unmarried girls gather in one of the village houses, trying to guess who they will marry. Then, one of them gets to the well  to fetch the “silent water”. On the way home she must speak to no one. At home she pours the silent water into a clay pot, where each of the girls throws a personal object, the so-called “rizikaria”. The pot is covered with a red cloth and tied, while the girls pray to St. John. Then the pot is put in an open space, where it stays all night. As legend has it, that very night the girls will dream of their future husband. On St. John’s Eve, the famous custom of bonfires is also revived: A large fire is lit in the village square, over which all the villagers jump. According to tradition, fire brings purification and people are freed from evil. St. John is also called Rizikaris since tradition has that he brings good luck; that is why the villagers should have completed all their household chores beforehand. He is also called Riganas, as on that day they used to collect oregano, which had to be picked up early in the morning, before sunrise, since they believed that it had magical powers.