Wednesday, 20 July 2016
The July Full Moon
Full moon often means crazy changes in the weather and this full moon is no exception. This time the change is a wonderful surprise. Temperatures are down from the high 30s to only 32o and the meltemi has started blowing, that welcome cool, stiff breeze from the north. What delightful weather for July, the month of breathless days and sticky nights.
The north wind blows straight into Vayionia Bay. You could almost surf these waves. Not good weather for the full moon party they want to hold tonight. But as Markos says, 'the party will go on' but on land, not in this sea. And it did go on.....till 6am.
The meltemi brings in rubbish from the open sea outside the bay and seaweed ripped from the seabed ends up floating into the beach. Ghikas is there on the beach all day raking up the weed from the beach and netting any rubbish in the water.
Down in Poros harbour all the yachts tied up along the waterfront have run for cover into the sheltered waters of the far arm of the bay. The north wind blows them up against the wharf and can damage the hull.
17th July is the feast day Agia (Saint) Marina, the great martyr
She was tortured and half drowned and burnt for remaining steadfast to her faith but came out unscathed. She was beheaded instead. Her relics (remains) are now in a church dedicated to her in Athens except for her right hand which is in a monastery on Mt Athos (where women are not allowed to tread but parts of them are OK and actually worshipped). She is celebrated in the Catholic church on July 20.
There is a small church dedicated to her just down below our old house in Poros town. The church is opened and cleaned for this occasion and the priest holds an evening service on the eve of the fete day and an early morning service which is attended by many mothers with young children. Having read all about her I can't see any mention of her protecting children but that is what she is known for around here.
20th July is the celebration of Profit Ilias (Elijah). There is another small church high on a hilltop near us dedicated to him. The grader came out and smoothed out the dirt track so cars could get up to the top and wet the road to cut down the dust.
This is another one of those very small churches which is generally only opened up for this fiesta. It is located in a shaded pine grove. My girls camped out there when they were sea scouts and it is the perfect place for a picnic.
Any little white chapels that you see high on a hill or craggy mountain top will likely be dedicated to the Profit.