Wednesday 24 May 2017

Saints Constandine and Helen .......21 may

Agios Konstantinos and Agia Eleni, mother and son.  They have a joint fiesta on 21st May and half of Greece celebrates with them.


and a few other variations

We have quite a few of them in our large Greek family.  Once we used to celebrate all together, with my mother-in-law (Eleni) and sister-in-law (Dina), daughter, grandaughter, and other various inlaws.

Now the young ones have grown up and some of the older ones have departed.  Add an economic crisis and the all day fiesta has shrunk to a small party for close friends and neighbours.

My sister-in-law arranged the Holy loaf to be taken to the church and made the list of relatives whose names are read out in church (mine included) to be blessed, hopefully, with good health.

Our local church is dedicated to these two saints and their icon is paraded through the back streets, followed by Priests, chanters, local officials and many of those whose name day is being celebrated.

After the service the  celebrants share homemade koulourakia (cookies), sweet bread and cakes to commemorate their name day and go home to cook and prepare for a celebration supper.

K cooked lamb and potatoes in a clay pot, sealed with dough and simmered for 5 hours.


There was nothing of the wild, rowdy celebrating of old when our house became a stopping off place for half the island.  Friends and friends of friends used to turn up for an hour or many hours to drink and eat and then wobble off to their next friend or relative. 

This time a cousin dropped in as did our immediate family after their athletic triumphs and finally a friend and neighbour.

We sat on the balcony, outside but under cover and the day turned from sunshine to a very welcome rain. We all ate a little drank a little and talked a lot.


  1. I enjoyed the post about the island sports and was, like Sol, taken by your sporty family and friends. I never got around to commenting, although I read it, with everything going on over here.

    This post is interesting and nice to be able to end the day with sitting down and talking together over a few drinks.

    1. Yes, the massacre at Manchester sort of takes over from anything else. So many young innocent lives lost. Unbelievable how someone can hate so much. But he is anot alone goddamit.

      As for our sporty family, well I find it hard to believe too sometimes. Kids and grandkids love sport, cycling, swimming, tennis rowing. They also love computer games but are not stuck on them all day long thank goodness.

  2. I remember Boxing Day was always so busy as it's my fathers names day.
    And the first was always at my cousins house as he is Bill. But these days it just doesn't happen any more.
    And with kids no longer being named after family members and more modern names being used. The names days of old are gone.
    Not that I really miss them. A lot of work and as we don't all live close by in a small village anymore. Lots of traveling
    Birthdays are better. You don't usually have to share!

    1. You're right. So much work. I have got tired of it over the years and this time it was relaxed and everyone helped a little. I enjoyed it too.
      As you say, birthdays are better. No-one else but very close family know when it is for a start and any party is invites only!!!

  3. So many gatherings and celebrations, what a happy country Greece must be :)
    Sounds like your fiesta was enjoyed by young and old.

    1. Ask the Greeks and they'll complain about everything under the sun then shrug their shoulders, say, what can we do though, and get on with living

  4. Like Rachel i enjoy so much your posts, i always wanted to know how is the real life in greek islands when i traveled, and now i have a small window to it.

    1. Hi Yael, it is only a small window, my window. Other people see other things. I enjoy writing about the view from my window! Glad you enjoy it all