The celebration of Saint Nicolaos will take place this Sunday, May 10th, on Zakynthos. This celebration is not included in the official calendar of the Orthodox Church as it is a local feast of Zakynthos. This feast is actually reported since 1087 and it is the oldest festival on the island, dating from the Venetian times.
It first took place to celebrate the translation of the relics of Saint Nicolaos from Mira town, modern Turkey, to Bari Italy, where they ar hosted till today. The ship made a stop in the port of Zakynthos and this comprised a great feast for the inhabitants, celebrated with Holy Masses, litanies and pilgrimage to the relics. In fact, the same feast takes place in Corfu 10 days later, on May 20th, as the sea trip from one island to the other that time was very long and difficult.
As Saint Nicolaos is considered the protector of seamen, there are many small chapels on Zakynthos dedicated to him close to the sea. The gloriest Holy Mass on his name will be held in the small church of Saint Nicolaos that is found in Zakynthos Town. This small church was built in 1560 and the protector saint of the island, Saint Dionysius, was a priest there. Note that this local festival that is 922 years old lasts well till today.