Expats.greece

ExpatsBlog.com - Where Expats Blog

local-kiwi-alien

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Summer Saints (1

So you thought Greeks spent all winter celebrating?  New Year, Carnival, Clean Monday, Easter.  Just a few of those winter  festivites.  Add about another half dozen and numerous name days and winter just passes in a blur of raki and rollicking.




Then summer arrives.  Perfect weather.  No raining on your BBQ here.  People plan their holidays around local festivals, returning to their village or island to take part in sometimes days of feasting, dancing and drinking till the dawn. These are religious holidays of course, honouring the town's saint.  So you go to church first and then enjoy yourself with a clear conscience. 



Worshippers at a Cycladic island church (Serifos, Tinos, Naxos, Paros, Syros)


15th August, the Dormition of the Virgin Mary, is the biggest Greek holiday of the year.  The whole country closes down, except for eating, drinking and sleeping establishments. Athenians 
 depart by the thousands to spend a few days with relatives in the village or just get out of town.  Poros turns into one huge, hot, noisy traffic jam.  City slickers in their big black jeeps hog the narrow out-of-town roads and don't know where to pull over, or don't want to know, to let another car pass.  Quad bikes packed with bright pink tourists without helmets, a whole family to a bike, buzz around, whooping and yelling till late at night.





The Cycladic islands, with their blue and white architecture,  are renowned for their summer festivities.  Celebrations really do go on for three days or even a week and there is lots of dancing and feeding the masses with huge cauldrens of stewed mutton or boiled beans.  Each island has its own traditions which have been carried on for donkeys years, through dictatorship, earthquakes and financial bungling.




Feeding the masses

They will serve their local delicacies, wear the traditonal folk costumes of the area, dance to celebrate their roots and tradition.  The rhythm of an instrument, of a song familiar to them from birth gets into their blood, intoxicates them and there are few that do not join in the line of dancers under the trees in the square or outside the church.   Everyone loves to sing and dance, from the toddler to the most elderly bouncing around on aged limbs.









As I have never taken part in a Cycladic island rave-up I'll tell you about our own summer fiesta, tomorrow.  It is not only the cyclades that celebrate!


9 comments:

  1. Avoiding Greece on the 15th of August sounds like a good idea to me. they'll be rather busy on that day. The festivities sound great though and I wouldn't mind that at all. I'll be the chip shops do a good trade then.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Worst time of the year to visit. Very hot and very crowded everywhere you go. Wish we had a chip shop here!! Instead we get served chips on the side with just about everything

      Delete
  2. Yup. Nobody knows how to party like the Greeks!
    I'm just a little past it now though lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm past it too. Been there, done that. Greek hubby loves it. He missed out on our local knees up but will definitely be there next year he says

      Delete
  3. There are so many holidays and celebrations. I like how social Greeks seem to be. Is there a sense of community in most places? -Jenn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Big sense of community. On our island where everyone knows everyone it is like one big family at the church service and at the party afterwards.

      Delete
  4. When I used to visit Greece, I used to imagine that I was Zorba; that way I could dance all night.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Youth! When you're young you can leap around all night and don't worry what you look like. Fun fun fun

      Delete
  5. Update Your Information. Summer Saints 2017. Menu: Summer Saints Day Camp | On Campus Classes | Off Campus Classes. Slideshow image. Future Saints.
    ตารางคะแนนพรีเมียร์ลีก

    ReplyDelete