Located one nautical mile from the shores of this town are the 2nd century foundations of the Giresun Island (Adası) which is the only major island in the Black Sea. It was known as Aretias in pre-Christian times and was sacred to the Amazons who had dedicated a temple there to the war god Ares. It is believed that Jason and his Argonauts stopped here to offer a sacrifice but had to flee because of an attack of ferocious birds.
Fertility Festival in GiresunThe island hosts an annual celebration of fertility rites to Priapus and Cybele (phallic god and mother goddess) that takes place every May 20 and has done so for 4,000 years. During the festival village women who are childless are passed through a hoop, then go on a boat around the island from where they throw pebbles into the sea which is a representation of casting away troubles and misfortunes, and return to the mainland for the eating and drinking festivities.
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