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white

Greek Easter in White background!

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Easter is just around the corner, just like the fever of preparations. Especially in Greece it is one of the most important celebrations of the year and is distinguished by its strong religiosity and its family character. Welcoming Easter with white colour! Because of the season, everyone is attempting a small escape to the countryside […]

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Easter

Kyra Sarakosti or Lady Lent: the peculiar Easter calendar!

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“Lady Lent”, “Kyra Sarakosti” in Greek, comes with the end of the Carnival and remains until Easter. Lady Lent is a custom that one could find all over Greece and it was a peculiar calendar which was used to count down the weeks of Lent until Easter. Even though Kyra Sarakosti was almost forgotten for […]

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Epirus

Epirus: Greece carved in stone.

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Greece: a small country, which seems to be made of water and stone, bathing in the light of the Mediterranean sun. For sure, most of the visitors recognize it as the country of the absolute “blue”, through her beaches and her cloudless sky. Only a few know her other side: the one that experienced craftsmen […]

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Summer solstice

The magical character of the Summer Solstice.

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Saying goodbuy to June! What is the Summer Solstice? Every year on the 20th of June (or 21st) the sun is at the highest point of the sky at the northern hemisphere. That is why on that day the longest day of the year (=summer solstice) is observed – at least for the northern hemisphere-, […]

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Bread: more than just food!

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The history of bread in the world It belongs to our everyday life and is one of the things with the longest history. We are talking of course about bread. “Kneaded” with the history of man and identified with food, survival, worship, and enjoyment. But bread is something more than all of these: it was […]

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first may

First May in Greece and … what do the donkeys on the rooftops?

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May Day is one of the few holidays that do not carry any religious meaning. Also, it is not a day connected just to labour rights. Since antiquity it is mainly a day related to the fruitfulness of the earth, the end of the winter and the coming of the summer. That is why it […]

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ai giorgis

“Ai Giorgis” (St George), the Victory-bearing knight of the spring

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Ai Giorgis, the patron of farmers and breeders April 23 is a special day in Greece. It is the feast day of St. George and the second milestone day in the year, after the feast day of St. Demetrios. It is identified with the coming of spring, the sowing and transfer of the flocks to […]

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How did the months get their names

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Winter  months Even if January changed many times his name in honour of various emperors, the official name January is of Latin origin. Janus was the Roman guardian of doors and also the god who protected the “new beginnings” or endings. He had two faces, one of which looked forward and the other backward. That […]

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trees, bomen

The cursed trees

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Are there trees that are victims of people’s superstition? Trees that folk tradition associates with curses? And trees that we are happy to accept their fruits but are not welcome in our garden?   The incriminated fig tree One of the most “incriminated” trees is the fig tree. Many do not want it in their […]

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water

Water as a cultural symbol

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Why water is of such an importance in some cultures? Most cultures were born and grew up around the water. That is why people understood its power since very early: either when it was giving life, either when it took life back. One of these cultures is Greece. And as it is normal, water and […]

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Greek-black

Flock bells: a source of noise or a communicational code?

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Bells and the melody of the sheep The sound of the flock is a sound of history. The bells were hung on animals as a sound transmitter but not only. The bell is not a simple tool, but a communication code. Experienced breeders know the sounds so well they can understand when their herd grazes, […]

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“Wear a “March” – The custom and the interpretation behind it.

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“March” or “Martis” is a very old custom. It is believed to have its roots  in Ancient Greece and more specifically in the Eleusinian Mysteries, where the mystics tied a thread, the Kroki (=thread), to their right hand and their left leg.  Nowadays at the first day of March, parents put a bracelet made of […]

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March and its three plagues

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March and its first day carry magical power because it was believed that then “the resurrection of nature” takes place. Before the designation of  January 1st, March 1st was the beginning of the year. That is why it was also described as the “great hour of the year“.  At 1st March it was said that […]

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Greek Valentines & Carnival …

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The inhabitants of Amorgos do not wait for Valentine’s Day to express their love. They always  do it with Carnival, thanks to a very old tradition which is called the “Captain” (=Kapetanios). Amorgos: A Valentine comes always in Carnival! Every year, all the young people from 4 different villages gather in the chapel of St. […]

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March and his two faces

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“Keep wood for March,
so not to burn the fence-poles”  is a known Greek proverb.
But what made March so unpredictable?  …

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The “lame” February.

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WhyFebruary has only 28 days instead of 30 or 31?
The folk version …

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Winter stories Vol. 2

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The short period of good weather during January and Februari is called in Greece “Days of the Alkyon”.
Why …?

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Stories behind the language Vol.2

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“Who payed the bride” & why?
When we use to say so? (more…)

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Stories behind the language

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It’s not a secret, of course, that the pomegranate is connected with symbolisms and many more traditions around the world, also in Greece.

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Women and their role in ancient Greece and Rome

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How women were perceived in Ancient Greece has been a subject of much fascination amongst historians. Part of the fascination lies in the contrast between two of the most prominent city-states – Athens and Sparta. Athens didn’t look as favorably upon women as Sparta did.

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