Thursday, 15 November 2018

St Phillip

13th November was a Tuesday this year, a most inauspicious day for greeks, the equivalent of Friday the 13th in the western world.
It was Tuesday 13th April 1204 that Constantinople (Istanbul) fell to the Turkish empire.
The end of civilisation said some back then.

14th November the fiesta day of St Phillip 

Ayios Filippos.  Name day of all Filipps and the female Filippia. Filipp with a double 'p' as opposed to the double 'l' of Phillip. 

St Filipp's feast day comes in the middle of the 40 day fast before Christmas.  During this fast you can eat fish, until 17th December, but not on Wednesdays or Fridays.

On the day of  St Phillip (Filipp) you can also eat meat.  There is a fable about starving peasants and two oxen.  St Phillip slaughtered one and fed the starving masses even though it was the middle of an important fast.   When he went back to the stable he found the ox alive and well.

A Miracle!     

I went to visit women of the extended family across the straits on Galatas on the 14th.  One household were preparing to eat roast chicken while on the other side of the yard the maiden aunts were cooking homemade macaroni with lots of fresh browned sheeps butter and grated cheese.  

I had to sample the dinner on both sides.  They were so insistent that at one stage I was being chased from one house to the other by an elderly aunt with a loaded fork.   Their hospitality is incredible.

From the beginning of November till the end of January there is one name day after another, Christmas and New Years in the middle and in our family more Scorpian, Sagittarrean and Capricorn birthdays than you can shake a stick at.

The government is 'talking' about returning some of the money 'stolen' from pensions of the armed forces and police in 2012.  We'll need it to get through all these festivities, plus having the 'necessary' to pay all the end of year taxes. We won't be celebrating till we see numbers in the bank and manage to withdraw it before it is withdrawn for us.  We have elections next year, so , you never know what little tidbits may be thrown our way as enticement to vote.

We've already had a dozen fiestas this month including
Archangels Michael and Gabriel
Local saint Ayios Nektarios

Coming up are 
Plato (the martyr, not the philosopher)

19th is International Men's Day.  First time I've heard of it.  Men celebrate everyday!
Ha. it is the same day as International  Public Toilet Day

21st is the Celebration of the Greek Armed Forces
 - a day of 'socialising' for retired officers 
Name day of any unwed (virgin?) 'Marias'

25th is Katerina
30th Andreas (St Andrew)

and those are just the most well known

'Kronia Polla' to all those feasting and rejoicing

Many happy returns
Long life to you all


  1. What a scary day... The 13th of April 1204!!!!!!! And "they" are trying, again!!!!

    With all these feast days, Greeks do know how to have fun.

    But a pre-Christmas fast?!? Gracious, that's no fun. -grin-

    Family knows how to "do" hospitality too! Maiden aunts, chasing you, to come over. -gigggles-


    1. Fasting is a big part of greek culture. 40 days before easter, 40 days before xmas, 15 days before 15th august, every wednesday and friday plus a whole of other times which I can't remeber......but my sis in law knows and follows them all to the rule!

  2. On an entirely different subject, I recently saw a Greek woman (on TV) opening and closing her hand over a casserole of some sort. Was this some superstitious manoeuvre?

    1. It sounds as though she was making a cross over the dish but in a different way. I've seen them sort of open and close their palms . I'm not sure exactly how but I'm sure that's what she was doing. Must ask my sis in law the exact directions

  3. Do you have a special calendar to keep track of all these fiestas, feasts, and fasts - or are they totally ingrained after all these years? I like the fable about St Phillip. Best of all, I love the image of you being chased by an elderly lady with a fork - the only question is, was she chasing you out, or herding you in?

    1. We know most of them off by heart - even me! So many of them but a lot are huge occasions and of course you know the name days of all your friends and relatives and thus the fiesta of the saint they are named after.
      Those aunts are damned insistent. They have brought up a dozen or more neices and nephews, force feeding them and keeping them out of danger. They are terrific cooks so I should be happy I am now on their 'care' list.

  4. It makes quite exhausting reading. We are not nearly so full of celebrations here although I suppose behind closed doors food covers the table and people come and fun is had and talking. To say otherwise would make me think we are awfully dull. We just celebrate in a bit of a different way.

  5. wow there's alot going on there. My birthday isn't until March so still have a way to go.