How to live to 100: paniyiri + drink wine

I know I’ve shared a lot about Ikaria. But I really must tell you about these uniquely Ikarian village parties. They are like nothing I’ve ever witnessed. And the essence of what they’re about, I think, very much contributes to why the people here live so long and well.

Here’s a video of the dance floor at the Stavlos paniyiri…It’s midnight. The party started around lunchtime.


Every village in Ikaria has a paniyiri. From May to September there is one every few days on the island. Sometimes four in one day/night. They exist to bring people together. The houses on the island are spread out, due to the island’s problems with pirates and other attacks over the centuries (decentralised villages were harder to conquer), so paniyiri were for getting everyone close. They were also, I’m told, a way of distributing wealth within a village. The rich paid for the goats and wine.

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