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Sunday, 26 February 2017

The last Sunday before Lent

This Sunday is the last Sunday before Lent, The Big Fast or Tesseracosti (the forty days of fasting, which are actually 49).

Yes, this is another celebration, followed immediately by Clean Monday (a national holiday) and the beginning of the Big Fast.

Elsewhere in Greece there are fiestas involving flour throwing (all over the spectators) and yoghurt besmirching.  It is the end of the carnival festivities and there are parades with satirical floats and troupes of carnival costumed merry makers.  Each part of the country has different customs, going back to the very old times.  Men dressed in goats skins clanging great bells to drive away evil, a 'burning of the king' and a mock wedding with a young man dressed as the bride, are amongst some of the many customs.

Here on Poros in recent years we have a Treasure Hunt which goes on all day.  The Hunt is organised by the council and all sorts of small groups take part. This year one family of  grandchildren are taking part with their school friends and with the help of teachers and parents.   The clues are difficult and they must  phone around for local information and dash all over the island trying to find answers.

The other family of grandchildren are going down the coast and under the volcano to the village of Methana to watch the carnival parade and festivities.

When the children were younger we carried on the custom on this day of 'catching the egg' and smearing yoghurt all over the winners as K used to do when he was a child.  This year I hope we will simply go out for coffee in the sun and give the treasure hunters a cheering-on.

The egg swinging is done on Sunday after the midday meal which in our house is always beef stewed in tomatoes and spaghetti.

The hard boiled egg has a needle and thread passed through it and it is attached to the rafters.  My mother-in-law's kitchen had a nail in the ceiling especially for this.

A little mouth trying to 'catch' a large egg

And the winner gets.....a yoghurt face wash


  1. Well yogurt is supposed to be good for the complexion lol sounds like lots of fun xxx

    1. Fun as long as you're not the one getting yoghurt on your face !!

  2. It all sounds fun but, like you, I'd happily settle for coffee in the sun. Best of luck to your Treasure Hunters.

  3. ps Is that you in the photographs?

    1. Not me in any pics. Daughter is the one getting smothered in yoghurt!

  4. I think I should be Greek! Always a party or festival to be had!!!

    1. Great as long as you're young......or actually greek, then you've got that 'buoyancy' in your blood