Today, in the Orthodox church, is All Souls Saturday, tomorrow is Sunday of Pentecost (WhitSun), Monday is the Day of the Holy Spirit or Monday of Pentecost (Whit Monday) and a public holyday in Greece.
Monday of the Holy Spirit falls 50 days after Easter Sunday and celebrates the descending of the Holy Spirit on the apostles. The greek word 'pentecost' (πεντεκοστος) means 50 days
Another long weekend, the weather is warm and the island is buzzing.
Today is All Souls and we were woken just before 8am by an 'almighty' crash and clatter.
Baba Lazaros, the previous (and dead) owner of our house was sending us another message which we received loud and clear. These two heavy brass objects, a bell and a mortar and pestle, fell from our bookcase. ... all by themselves
Saturday is All Souls and my sis-in-law rang to say she was making koliva (funeral wheat) to take to the church as a blessing for the dead. The bowl of koliva, one of many taken to the church today, is placed at the front of the church and three candles are pushed into the bowl and lit. At the end of the service the wheat (with sugar, pomegranite seeds, parsley and other ingredients) is served out to everyone and as you eat it you ask the higher power to forgive those who have gone before and are being remembered.
She also includes a long list of those in the family that have died, going back a generation or so, that she wishes to be remembered.
One year on All Souls Saturday we had gone to a memorial service at the church in the graveyard. All the names of all those souls whose names have been read out ALL through the year were read out again. I wondered why the service was going on and on and on. The priest hardly took a breath for an hour!
K had recently had a dream about his parents so he was pleased she had remembered them. When K sees his mother or father in a dream it either means the weather is going to change or they are asking for something, like having a candle lit for them or a short blessing, he says.
Anyway, back to Baba Lazaros. He makes his presence heard now and again but thankfully doesn't appear in person. His first attempts at communication were to turn on the tap over the marble sink outside. He got tired of that, or couldn't turn it on anymore once the washer was changed. He turns on the outside shower instead which is a damn nuisance. We blamed the cats at first but they'd have to be acrobats to move that handle.
Now and again he turns on the flash on my quad bike, usually in the middle of the night. I hear a 'click, click, click' and have to crawl out of bed in the cold and spooky darkness, creep out in my bare feet (can never find slippers ), risk being butted in the butt by a billy goat or attacked by a jackal, and turn the damn thing off before it flattens the battery. That happens about once a month.
His latest game is to turn on the outside stereo so he can listen to his favourite old greek crooners, always in the middle of the night. I am of course the one suddenly jolted out of a deep sleep to go and turn the damn radio off but at least there is a bright light I can turn on before venturing outside.
And now he's roaming around inside clearing the shelves. K thinks we should have a priest up to bless the house and is forever sprinkling holy water in the corners. Today we lit a big candle for Baba Lazaros and let it burn all day long. I hope it keeps him quiet for a time.