The Association of Friends of the Thermon Archaeological Museum and Site has for the very first time organized a sequence of cultural events in an attempt to revive the institution of “THERMIA.”
The THERMIA were the leading institution of the Aetolian League taking place annually in Thermon and lasting for several days during the period of the autumnal equinox.
In ancient Thermon, which was the religious and administrative centre and locus of reverential pilgrimage of the Aetolian League, Aetolian citizens of legal age gathered annually in order to elect—through procedures of direct democracy (pure democracy)—their leaders. Throughout the duration of THERMIA, delegations of all the cities of the Aetolian League consulted and settled upon all major issues relating to the Confederacy, devising its future policy, performing religious ceremonies, while simultaneously attending great commercial, athletic, and other festivities.
The Association of Friends of the Thermon Archaeological Museum and Site organized, for the very first time, the annual revival of THERMIA in two successive stages due to the unexpected announcement of general elections at the exact dates initially proposed: the first stage (September 11th – September 16th) hosted a “Classical song workshop,” whereas the second, held in cooperation with the Municipality of Thermo and five additional cultural societies of our region, lasted from October 1st until October 4th and included a series of tours to archaeological sites, Byzantine monuments, and natural wonders, as well as athletic events, performances of dancing groups, and a conference.
1st Part: September 11 – 16, 2015: “Classical singing workshop,” with the internationally renowned tenor Zachos Terzakis, followed by two very successful concerts. The first of the two concerts took place on September 12, hosting the brothers Gerasimos and Spyros Karaviotis, while the second took place on September 16, with the tenor Zachos Terzakis, the Karaviotis brothers, all the workshop participants, as well as promising young artists. The concert was accompanied by the amazing piano soloist Dr. Amalia Sagona.
2nd Part: October 1st – 4th, 2015: The second part of the revival of THERMIA was integrated into the I.C.E. Program and held in collaboration with 6 Societies: i) The Municipality of Thermon Cultural & Athletic Centre, ii) The Cultural Association of Thermo, iii) The LEMATH Society, iv) The Association of Myrtia, v) The Archaeological—Historical—Folklore Association of Thestians, and vi) the organizing body of the Association of Friends of the Thermon Archaeological Museum and Site. It included:
Paratrichonia (Ride Around Trihonida Lake): Pamfio, Trichonio (Gavalou) Sanctuary of Asclepius, Vlochos, Myrtia Monastery, Thermo Monastery.
Lakeside hiking: Petrochori, Fotmou Monastery, Myrtia Baths, Myrtia waterfalls.
Paraevinia (Riverside Ride & Hiking): The arched bridge of Artotiva, Kareli, Springs of the Nymphs in Kefalovriso of Analipsi, Petrochori, Thermo.
Tour of the Byzantine monuments of the region 10/02/2015: Monastery of St. John the Baptist (Prodromos) in Analipsi, Monastery of Agia Paraskevi in Mandra – wax effigies.
FESTIVAL OF GAMES 10/02/2015:
Extant ancient Greek, as well as various other traditional games, performed with the active participation of a plethora of students of all levels from all schools of Thermo.
a) 10/02/2015: With the participation of the students of the Secondary School of Thermo. Under the guidance of the archaeologist-museologist Ms. Monica Diamantis.
b) 10/13/2015: Attended by the students of the Thermo High School. A guided tour of the archaeological site offered by the architect Antonis Vasilopoulos, President of the Board of the Association of Friends of the Thermon Archaeological Museum and Site.
EXHIBITION OF LOCAL PRODUCTS:
With the participation of local producers; lasting throughout the four-day event (October 1st – October 4th, 2015).
SYMPOSIUM October 3, 2015: Hotel Althaia. Thematic Axes: Region, Monuments, History.
The Symposium speakers were: the Professor of Archaeology Ioannis Papapostolou, the former Dean of the Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences Professor Georges Contogeorgis, the honorary Director of the General Directorate of Antiquities Dr. Lazaros Colonas, the honorary Director of Antiquities Ms. Maria Gatsi, the Ephor of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Aetolia-Acarnania and Lefkada Dr. Olympia Vikatou, and the archaeologist Ms. Lina Makradima. Moreover, Mr. Giorgos Sagonas gave a talk representing our association followed by a short video presentation. The symposium was declared open by the Secretary General of our association, and Secondary School of Thermo Headmistress, Mrs. Syrrou Aglaia.
ATHLETIC GAMES 10/04/2015:
Mountain bike race consisting of two categories for younger and older participants. The race was organized by the Motorsport Club of Thermo (LEMATH).
TRADITIONAL DANCES 10/04/2015:
Presented by the Cultural Association of Thermo.
With the participation of the Mayor of the Municipality of Thermo, Mr. Spyros Konstantaras and the President of the Board of the Association of Friends of the Thermon Archaeological Museum and Site. Spectacular colourful fireworks lit up the celestial canopy thus, marking the end of Thermia 2015.
B. ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES:
1. An Excursion to the archaeological site of Dodona (Dodoni), the region of Zagori (Zagorochoria), as well as the famed town of Ioannina, took place on November 15, 2015. Guided Tour by the President of the Board of the Association of Friends of the Thermon Archaeological Museum and Site, Mr. Antonis Vasilopoulos, as well as Ms. Sophia Stamou.
2. A (SOLIDARITY) Film screening event was organized in financial aid of the students of the Thermo Secondary School (Gymnasium) and High School. The proceeds from the film screening of Christophe Barratier’s masterpiece The Chorus (Les Choristes) offered great assistance in covering the real needs of students. The event took place on January 3, 2016 and, having gathered great attention, was generally considered very successful.