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Thursday, 25 June 2015

ST JOHN'S EVE

 Burning the May day wreath.

24th June.  Midsummer in some countries.  St John's eve here in Greece.  It is the day we burn the May Day wreaths. 

IN THE OLDEN DAYS
 The wreaths were burnt in a fire at crossroads and kids jumped the fire to be free of fleas for the summer.  This St John was known as 'St John-of-the-fleas.  Very soon there is another St John celebration.  At the small church of this St John the children crawl through a small window into the church and leave some underwear behind and are assured of good health for the coming year.  Son-in-law Kyriakos left some underpants there quite a few years ago.

YEARS AGO we did burn the wreaths out in the road and had a street party with a bbq, meat on sticks (souvlaki) and cold beers.  Now the fires are forbidden and our neighbours disagreed with the smoke from the  bbq on the street so we have a family and friends party and throw the wreaths on the rubbish.

It is solstice of course, the longest day and shortest night.  Always seems so weird to have the longest day at the very beginning of the summer.  It is daylight now at around 5 am and gets dark at 9pm.  But the days will be getting shorter from now on.

The blog post before this on greek austerity/poverty/idleness
is just one of many I have written since 2010.  Same old-same old.  

May Day wreath photos are old ones but you'll get the idea.
 
 
 LIGHTING THE FIRE IN THE OLDEN DAYS
 BBQ AND BEER
ABOUT TO JUMP AND BE FREE OF FLEAS

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