Friday 18 August 2017

Snakes alive

It's religion again, but this time it's also a
'weird or what'..

For centuries, very year between the 5th and the 15th August,  small snakes appear at the church of the Virgin Mary on the island of Kefalonia.   This year they appeared on August 5th, crawling around the church and its surrounds and remained in the area till August 15th when they suddenly disappeared for another year. Some think that the church is on their migratory route.  Some think it is a miracle of the Virgin Mary (whose big fiesta is on the 15th).

   They are up to one metre long and have a small black cross on their heads.   The snakes are harmless and bus loads of people arrive every day to interact with them.  

They are seen by the islanders as a blessing.  If they do not appear it is a very bad omen.    They failed to appear in 1953 and their was a disastrous earthquake, 7.5 on the richter scale .  They also failed to appear the year that the Germans occupied the island.

Charles and Camilla   -

After a few days resting at the Rothschild estate on Kerkyra (Corfu) Charles and Camilla boarded a luxury yacht to cruise the Aegean.

The yacht will be sailing near Mount Athos, the Holy Mountain of Greece, where Charles will be visiting churches and monasteries.

Mount Athos does not allow females to set foot on the their holy land.  Not even female dogs, chickens, cows or goats.  The presence of women slows the monks spiritual journey, so they say.  

Mount Athos (Agion Oros in greek)  is a peninsular in northern Greece on which there are 20 Eastern Orthodox monasteries.  There are over 2,000 monks mainly from the balkans and Russia. Only men are allowed to enter and only with a special permit.

Grigoriou Monastery

Camilla must stay on board the luxury yacht and hark to her knitting.


  1. I get the snakes knowing about th earthquake. But knowing the nazis were coming. Now that's freaky!
    I don't like snakes. I would not be one of the tourists interacting with them
    Now way!

    1. Kefalonia has had a series of very bad earthquakes over the last ten or so years and the snakes haven't predicted those. It's one of those things you really have to go and see, and look at the greek sites and comments as well which I didn't do. I've heard about the snakes loads of times over the years and saw a news broadcast so thought I'd mention them. Interesting

    2. Very interesting. But I'm happy to just read about it here lol
      Being Australian we are very wary of snakes!

  2. I am so afraid of snakes, we have here a lot at summer time.

    1. We have a few snakes, all harmless. Fortunately most of the ones I've seen have been squashed in the middle of the road.

  3. I love the snake information, and I believe it all. My mother was a great believer in omens and passed it on to me.

    I wish I was accompanying Prince Charles on his tour of the monasteries and churches, but then I wouldn't be allowed either. We spent a day in (the other) Macedonia visiting monasteries and churches and at the monasteries we were given long skirts to put on over our own clothes, even if we were already wearing long things. Only certain monks were allowed to greet us, the rest we never saw. Amazing places and still so many monks. Great post Linda.

    1. Not sure about the omen part. Kefalonia is an earthquake zone and has bad wildfires as well. An interesting phenomonen.

      A lot of the monasteries here also there are skirts provided to cover up, either bare arms or legs.
      Please 'women do not enter in men's clothing or with shorts or swim wear ' is often written up outside, though a bit more relaxed now that even older women wear trousers.
      Bet Macedonia, Bulgaria, Serbia etc are exactly the same.
      And why not. You want to visit you follow their rules.

  4. I'm not a snake lover, although if they are harmless, I wouldn't hurt one.
    Interesting folk-lore, and I think those monks are just trying to keep the island to themselves :)
    Lovely pictures of your home.

    1. So many monks all isolated together....mmmm

  5. Dentists and Snakes have the same appeal in my book!

    One really has to wonder who would sign-up to a religion where they're not even allowed to see women. I have my theory.

    1. Yes, I bet we have the same theory. Rumours abound!