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Easter

Kyra Sarakosti or Lady Lent: the peculiar Easter calendar!

“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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kite

The story of the kite

Clean Monday is the last day of Carnival and the beginning of the fasting period before Easter. This day the sky is filled with colorful kites, as it is the custom on this day. The kite-flying and its’ dance on the wind, high up in the blue sky, indicates the lifting and the purification of […]

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Greek Carnaval

The friendly ghost of Harmena comes always with Carnaval.

Traditions, ghosts and Carnaval Legends always remains a significant part of our traditional background. And even if we know that they have nothing to do with the reality, we keep them as a secret treasure. One of them is the “ghost of Harmena”  in Central Greece (in the region of Amfissa) which comes always in […]

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Epirus

Epirus: Greece carved in stone.

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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christmastree-kerstboom

The Christmas Tree Story

One of the most famous Christmas traditions is the Christmas tree. Since the 20th century, it has become very popular in many city centres and stores. But how did the Christmas tree arrive till today? When and how its long history began? According to some researchers, the tradition of decorating trees or pieces of trees […]

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Summer solstice

The magical character of the Summer Solstice.

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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Superstitions from Greece and the whole word

Black cats and open umbrellas that bring bad luck. Βlue beads and garlic against  the evil eye … And much more! … Prejudices and superstitions that have to do with everything that surrounds us. And if you think that all these funny and absurd metaphysics concern only Greece, you are probably wrong. Superstitions are something […]

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Old Athens & its faded history

Sitting in one of the many cafes in the shadow of the once holy (now only touristic) hill of the Acropolis, we enjoy a cup of hot coffee, Greek, or one of the European styled we have grown accustomed to in recent years. In the hustle of the modern city, in an environment with old-fashioned […]

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first may

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

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

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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trees, bomen

The cursed trees

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

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?

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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March and its three plagues

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

“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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Greek Carnival

February is the last winter month; everyone is already bored with cold and rain and snow and is looking forward to warmer days. However, everybody loves and welcomes February because he brings the first signs of spring. That is why in Greece people use to say: ” Ο Φλεβάρης κι αν φλεβίσει, καλοκαίρι θα μυρίσει”. Which […]

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The “lame” February.

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

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March and his two faces

“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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Pelion Confidential

It was a beautiful day in mid-October. Although the autumn had made its presence clear enough during the previous weeks,something which made the beautiful mountain of the Centaurs look very dark and melancholic, this year we were very lucky and the weather was absolutely summer-like.

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Winter stories Vol. 2

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

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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Red Easter eggs: What are the hidden symbolisms and why are they red?

One of the most popular Easter customs is the painting of the eggs on Holy Thursday. May be in recent years the eggs are painted in different colors, though the tradition wants them red. It is a fact that there were colored eggs in antiquity, in Rome, in Greece, China, Egypt, as gifts at spring […]

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