During Lent, on every Sunday and holiday afternoon, local associations in various villages organize the “tsounia” game. The game is played in pairs (one man and one woman), and it is an opportunity for young people to meet, have some fun, and enjoy one of the most important opportunities to express their amorous sentiments to one another, mainly via the selection of their young female game partner. At the same time, improvised swings are set up, (locally called “kounistres”) for the young men to push their partners on.
On the evening of Good Friday there are two meetings of the Epitafios (portable shrines) while they parade through the streets of all central neighbourhoods, in a reverent religious atmosphere, under the sounds of the hymns of the Easter Laments: In the yard of Saint Constantine’s church, at the central square of Artemonas, we have the meeting of the Epitafios from the parishes of Panagia Kochis (Artemonas), of the Taxiarchs (Agios Loukas) and of Saint John (Ano Petali), while in the yard of Saint Stylianos in Arades, we have the meeting of the Epitafios of the parish churches of Saint Spyridon (Apollonia), Saint Nicholas (Exabela) and Saint George (Katavati).
On Easter Sunday night, the Cultural Association of Sifnos delivers the effigy of Judas to the flames, alternating annually between the square of Artemonas and Apollonia, after a procession of ridicule through the streets of Sifnos. In Sifnos, as in many other places in our country, burning the Judas, beyond the inherent symbolism of punishing any traitor, it is also a spectacular procession which is integrated in the festivities for welcoming spring. Afterwards, Easter treats are handed out, and local dances are presented by members of the Association’s dance companies, accompanied by a Sifnian takimi (violin and laout, similar to an oud or lute).