Friday, 22 February 2019

Carnival Begins

The three weeks of carnival started, for the Greek Orthodox Church, last weekend.  Three weeks of dressing up, eating, dancing, singing and taking part in strange local customs. 

Lent begins in 3 weeks time,  on March 11 starting with Clean Monday and 7 weeks later we end the fast with offal soup on midnight of Easter Saturday and  spit roast lamb on Easter Sunday, 28th April here.

Our carnival season started off with a dinner and dance organised by the rowing club.  The party was to award medals to some of the rowers and raise funds so the kids can continue their training and travel to the competitions all over Greece.  All our grandchildren are rowers.

Live bouzouki music
The bouzouki is the instrument held by the guy on the stage


Lots of dancing.  This is the 'harsapiko' the butcher's dance


Most popular are the circle dancers.  Anyone can join in, and does 


At the other end of the room the rowing coach, and dance master, grabbed all the children and got them up to dance


Then they snake danced around the tables.  A good time is always had by all

Ashtrays on the table, even though you're not supposed to smoke indoors and it was an athletic club gathering
Didn't see anyone smoking though.  Anyone desperate for a fag grabbed their coat and went outside for a quick puff, glass in hand and a few friends in tow for a gossip as well

A litre of wine was provided in the price of the meal, after that you bought your own.  The beer was local 'Saronic Lager Beer'.
Poros Island is situated in the Saronic Gulf
The bottle described it this way
'Saronic, nowhere else can you travel so smoothly and comfortable from the reality into the dream'

A glass of wine with a meal is the norm for all of us, including the athletes who are still at school.  Kids grow up with alcohol.  They  drink a glass of wine or beer as they grow older, at a family meal.

No-one stays in their seat.  Kids run around having fun, leaving parents to enjoy themselves too.  Most will get up to dance, socialise ... or go out for a cigarette

The table gets a bit messy but dancing and talking means you want to have another nibble and refill your glass so everything is left as-is till the end

Funds were raised by selling raffle tickets.  Everyone won something.  For 5 euros you got a card with a number and went up to claim your prize.  There were 329  gift donations to win.

Here's a photo of our loot
2 litres of oil from a local oil press
2 jars of mandarine marmelade
a big box of really juicy lemons

A jar  of jam or kilo of lemons makes us happy but a night of loud music, organised chaos, makes some even happier


  1. That looks like a grand time was had by all !
    The lemons sound amazing, like you, I prefer them over an evening of loud music :)
    The Greeks seem to be so happy and contented, making the best of their lot...
    Thank you for sharing this fun post.

    1. Music was too loud to even have a conversation....but it always is at these things. My ears ring for hours afterwards

  2. ^%$&*()&^%^%% This is the third try, to comment. First time, I did something, and lost it.

    But second time, it said I was logged out. I am not. I just went and commented on another blog... smooth as silk.

    grrrrrrrrr.... -sigh- not gonna' try to write the whole thing again. grrrr...

    LOL.... -sigh- grumble grumble grumble

    1. So annoying...don't worry, at least I know you read it. Thanks

  3. Sounds like a typical weekend in any Greek home lots of food, wine, music and kids! Lol
    Hope lots of money was raised for the club

    1. They raised loads thank goodness. Competitions coming up on the lake at Kastoria.
      As for the noise...well at least you grew up with it, normal for you. I retire early lol

  4. Looks like everyone had a fabulous time. Endless food and drink and prizes to take home. What more could you ask!!

    1. The prizes were fun. Nice that everyone won something

  5. It looks like a great event. There is no way I could drink a litre of wine.

    1. Oops didn't make that very clear. That litre of wine was between a table of four. Some just drank water, extra for that and the beer

  6. Although I have been reading your blog for awhile, I only recently am working on converting to Orthodoxy, at the St George Greek Orthodox church. I am really struggling with the length of the Lenten do you do it? Have you always been Orthodox?

    1. I'm not Orthodox. I just take part in some of the traditions. Those that suit me!
      My husband doesn't fast every year and neither do my kids but all of us try not to eat meat for the 40 days and the last week, who have is Holy Week they do actually fast.
      It's not such a big thing for the younger generation.
      If you can stop eating meat then do that for the duration. Eat eggs and dairy except for Wednesday's and Fridays. We get Lenten cheese and all sorts of substitutes in the supermarket these days if you want them.
      Don't worry too much. You should see the never of people here that eat souvlaki on good Friday !! Now that's a big no no.
      Don't forget that shrimps and kalamari are always on theenu.
      Our diet here is often meatless anyway. We eat loads of lentils, beans, chickpeas, and vegetable dishes which are meatless all through the year so it's not so hard to keep on doing that IF you want to. The western diet is a little different.
      Good luck!!!

    2. Sorry about all the mistakes. I was trying to type fast on my little phone.
      My sis in law always strictly fasts for the whole 7 weeks. She's one of few nowadays

    3. Thank you for that advise (especially the dairy and eggs suggestion). I don't know how strict I will be this year as it is a big departure from our usual diet ~ tacos. :-)

  7. The function looks alot of fun. Lemons haven't come into season here yet but we have the imported ones from America being sold in the shops.

    1. I remember in the Bay having a huge lemon tree in the garden. Don't think we used many though in cookng.

  8. You all know how to party. Is it sun that makes you all so happy and have so much fun?

    1. It's as though there's something in their blood! You just can't keep them down.