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CIVILIZATION

Like most of the Cycladic islands, in Folegandros, the greatest development is noticed in the occupations such as builders, carpenters, plasterers, electricians and other occupations that are necessary for the survival and the development of the island. The residents of Folegandros had and still have unfavorable living conditions. Life is difficult , because the terrain is mountainous and rocky, with very few drinking waters, many winds and of course a negative thing is also isolation as it is an island. Thus many of the residents decided to follow the road to immigration, in order to have better living conditions.

On the island they also cultivated very few fruits, vegetables, olives, oil and wine. The residents were also involved with stock farming more than fishing and bee keeping.

During the last few years' tourism made its appearance and took the island out of its solitude. Folegandros stopped been an island of the unprofitable shipping line and now it has a ship from Piraeus come through here on a daily basis during the summer months. Tourism played a major role for the people changing occupations.

They are now basically involved with tourist occupations and they stopped immigrating for a better tomorrow. Of course during winter Folegandros again takes the road of isolation, but nevertheless the residents manage to survive better, because in the summer tourism has provided them with a better income.

During Easter, the procession of the icon of Panagia is celebrated. The icon comes down from the hill on Sunday and taken all around Chora until sunset time when it reaches Ano Chora followed by walkers that put up the feast. The next day it goes back to Chora at the Pantanasa of the Castle and on the third day it does the round of the harbor to again end up at Chora.

Chora

Castle

Weddings are also traditionally conducted in Folegandros , where the bride and groom go to church accompanied by violins and lutes. After the wedding they eat "pasteli" which is the local specialty and a big feast is set up.

The locals basically listen to island music and dance the basic island dances, such as balos, syrto and sousta. In the past the residents used to wear local breeches but now days they do not keep the local costume.

Folegandros has to display artists in hagiography, as there are many hagiographies from local artists and mainly of Agathoklis Othonaios. In our days Markos Vennios is a distinguished hagiographer-painter with an abundant artistic production and is thought as one of the most important Greek artists of the new generation.



In the world of fashion it has to flaunt Louis Gerardos , awarded maitre of Haute Couture . The construction of Folegandros is dense and continuous. Possibly this dense construction gave the people a feeling of security, because by nature the island offered ample isolation and loneliness. The houses are built with rock and the local green rock. They are simple and very often in very few square meters, whole families are brought up.
Other than rock, wood and seaweed were also used as building elements. For healthier living conditions but also for beauty, the locals used to white wash their houses very often. The houses of Folegandros are white and what characterized them is their small courtyards.

 
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