Thursday, 14 September 2017

Many Happy Returns Stavros and Stavroula

Yes, another name day

14th September
The Feast of the Holy Cross - Timios Stavros in greek

Name day for men named Stavros
and women named Stavroula

It is also a day of fasting.  The tradition on this day is to eat fried salt cod with garlic sauce.

This little church is on a hillock in the middle of nowhere.  This morning we passed by, hoping to stop and light a candle on our return.  There were dozens and dozens of cars parked outside for the early morning service.  When we did return in the middle of the day there was just the fire truck parked beside the church and two firemen seated at a small table under the trees

Inside the church the icon of the Cross had been decorated with basil.  It is a tradition today to take a bunch of basil to church, have it blessed and take it to home to bless the house with its aroma.

Basil was growing over the patch of ground where St Helen, according to legend, found the Holy Cross, in Jerusalen in 328AD.

If, like us, you didn't bring your own bunch there was a pile of blessed basil underneath the icon

We hung our bunch in the front of the car and had a safe journey home

The church of the Holy Cross at the end of Poros harbour.  Once upon a time the old slaughter house was right behind it and the sea full of sharks feeding off the blood and guts.

Nowadays it is a favourite site for fishing and the sea is clean enough to swim in, off the rocks.


  1. So many things to remember on the Greek's tradition, how do you remember all the details?, i like tradition though we don't keep it here so much.

    1. The whole island turns out for these traditions. You can't forget them!!

  2. Did you ever see Stavros Flatley? It was a father and son dance act that was on Britain's Got Talent (I think). If you haven't seen it, you'll find them on YouTube.

    1. I just loved those two!! Especially the their first appearance where everyone was just gobsmacked.

  3. I wonder what they do here down under. It's way too cold to grow basil and since our weather has been very cold and wet I'm thinking it's been an extra bad year for it
    Happy names day to all who celebrate today

    1. A bunch of supermarket coriander?

      Or maybe every priest has a secret pot of basil growing in his glass house. Interesting comment!