Sunday, 10 November 2019
Some countries are/were celebrating Halloween and Thanksgiving and getting ready for Christmas. Here in Orthodox Greece we are preparing for 2 months of name days, celebrations, church fiestas, and in our family a slew of birthdays. But it's not all killing the fatted pig and testing this years vintage. There are another 40 days of fasting before December 25th and that begins about now.
November 8th is the feast day of the Archangels Michael and Gabriel and the name day celebration of those named after them, mainly Mihalis, Matina, Angeliki and Stamatis. Every year we go to the home of K's cousin Mihali and his wife Angeliki. Both of them have the same name day and there is always roast pork, spinach pie, lettuce salad with pomegranite and a syrupy dessert.
The first of winter's spinach and lettuce is ready for eating and pomegranites are at their best, still on the trees, red and ripe.
This time last year it was cold and drizzling. Not a night you wanted to venture out.
A few years ago, at the same time in November my brother and his wife visited from Perth, Australia. What we remember most about the visit was the bitter cold. We visited some of the ancient ruins wrapped up in thick jackets.
this year the evening was warm and dry. They have a very cold house, icy marble tiles everywhere and muted colours. Lots of grey and black, not colours to warm the eye or the soul. Last year I froze in a light shirt. I was relying on their central heating which they didn't turn on till half an hour after we were seated at the table. This year I came prepared and wore a jacket. Not necessary.
We sat and ate and chatted in a very agreeable atmosphere.
It's raining today but we are still in short sleeves. I have put a couple of rugs down in the bedroom and winter clothes are hanging in the closet but in the main we are enjoying this late autumn warmth.
My grandchildren are still thinking of swimming. Someone else, my age, told me they were still swimming in the sea and the water was em-bracing. It won't be em-bracing me!
The 37th year of the Authentic Athens Marathon
As usual won by a Kenyan with Rwanda coming in 2nd and for the first time in many mnay years a Greek came in at third place.
The marathon is a 42 kilometre run following the route of the original marathon runner in 490BC from the the village of Marathon to the centre of Athens. The authentic marathon runner in ancient times raced back to the Athenians to tell them that their army had defeated the Persians in the Battle of Marathon.
Not really celebrated around here. I crocheted some poppies back in April before the NZ and Australian remembrance day. Not sure what to do with them. I suppose they could be used as Xmas decorations
Remembering the uprising of students of Athens University in 1973 which led to the downfall of the military junta.
Usually there is rioting around the Parliament buildings, a ripping up of marble tiles to throw at the police, a hail of molotov cocktails and in return a cloud of tear gas.
Schools hold commemorative services and school children have a day off.
A feast day celebrating the entrance of the Virgin Mary, as a child, into the temple at Jerusalem.
Greek Armed Forces Day. Time for ex Navy officers to attend the church service and enjoy the company of fellow officers at a local taverna
Name day of unmarried girls named Maria
25 and 26 November
Saints Katherine and Saint Stylianos (Stelios and Stella)
30 November Saint Andreas
Those are just the more important of the holidays. There are more!