|The custom of Agios Giannis Fanistis
Upholding the traditions in Lagada, the last years the locals revive the custom with the fires and Klidona on the eve and on the day of Agios Giannis. On the eve, that is on June 23rd, according to the custom, they burn the May Day wreaths with wood and old objects.
There is much folklore for that day. The locals put on their waist osiers so as to become healthier and not feel pain for the rest of the year, while everybody, young, old, mothers with babies and singles must jump over the fires of Agios Giannis. They always have to jump three times, because according to the tradition whoever jumps takes the power of the fire and is healthy, happy and protected from evil.
Some days before, the children take branches and trunks from a little forest nearby and together with useless and old things they build four fires in the village neighbourhoods.
Each neighbourhood tries to make the biggest heap so that their fire will be higher. The height and the duration of the flame are the two basic factors to judge who the winner will be.
At night, when the clock of the church strikes 10, the signal is given and the fires are lit in Agios Giannis, in Fanaraki, in Agrelopos as well as in front of the community office.
In the back streets of the village, the elders used to burn the May Day wreath and they threw salt to the fire in an act of protection from evil. The tradition says that the mother of Agios Giannis wants to notify the neighbours that she is in labour.
When the fires go off, the inhabitants use the ash for purgative aims, by sprinkling the fields, the animals even the houses.
According to the custom it is impossible for the locals to stride off the fire. Thus, you think that the purification happens with the children’s plunges into the port.