Sunday, 5 March 2017
ROAD SIDE SHRINE
Driving around the island you will notice these shrines, big and flash, small and rusty, on the sides of the road. Usually they have been placed at the site of an accident to remember the victim but sometimes they are also built as thanks for their survival.
This elaborate shrine is on the side of our mountain road. Someone comes every summer and paints and cleans the monument, leaves fresh flowers and has done for the more than twenty years.
My sister-in-law has one on the roadside above her farm in the hills so she can go in the evening, light a candle, cleanse her spirit with a waft of incense and say 'thank you' for another day gone by.
The main part of the shrine is a box with a glass window and inside you will find an incense burner, a simple lamp or candle, a small bottle of oil for the lamp and maybe an icon of a saint or photo of a victim. The lamp is usually a simple bowl of olive oil with a wick floating in it.
The lamp is lit as often as possible, daily during the first 40 days of mourning. Anyone may stop, light the candle or lamp and say a prayer.
This is a memorial to a young diver drowned off the coast in the sea behind the shrine
A shrine to a young man killed in a motorbike accident
The next two are shrines from times gone by. Family members do remember them now and again and inside you'll notice a flickering candle.
Most of the shrines are made by hand or commissioned according to the family's instructions but they can also be bought ready made from most garden centres or building suppliers.
These three crosses are painted on the bank opposite one of our small churches. Often you'll see crosses like this painted to make you aware that there is a church in the area.
This beautiful shrine is in the mountains in Northern Greece. We stopped here to take in the view. It is a beautiful place to sit, breathe the fresh mountain air and enjoy the scenery.