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submitted by Anna Cominos on 27.12.2007

52 weeks in Tsirigo - Christmas in Kythera

Christmas in Kythera
The days leading into Christmas day have been divine; winter-warm and windless.
Most people have finished with the olive-picking for this season and the Olive-Presses will only open sporadically after the Yiortes (holidays). Everyone has been busy, the cooks in the kitchen, men cutting wood and children everywhere singing Carols.

Hoards of chirpy schoolkids bellow out Christmas Carols in the mornings leading-up to Christmas Day. Doing the rounds of houses and businesses alike armed with clangy triangles and Christmas paper covered shoes boxes dressed-up as donation boxes, has long been a local (fund-raising) tradition.

In the past the Yimnaseio (High School) Lykeio (Senior High) have used this ‘merry way’ to raise funds for their 5 day excursion to other parts of Greece. In 2007 the phenomena of Christmas Carolling has come to reflect the ‘run & grab’ ethos of Free Marketing,with classes breaking-up into twos and threes…. suddenly it felt you couldn’t escape the blighters. And for superstitious reason you have to give each time so your New Year goes well.

Children’s performance created more controversy when Ecclesiasts waited for a Christmas
Pantomime featuring kalikatsarous (mischief goblins) to end before bestowing Christmas blessings on the pre-schoolers.

While the excesses of modernisation/consumerism are now visible in Kythera, such as the amount of Christmas lights you adorn your house, the gathering of family and neighbours around wintery olive-wood stoked fireplaces eating freshly picked wild mushrooms and drinking home-made wine is still thankfully a typical Yiortes (holidays) treat.

Ps Calamari season has begun with the Prince (Panayiotis Efthmiou) dragging in a whopper at 1.8kgs. It looked like an extra from the Muppets......See you in the New Year…….Kali Hronia.

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1 Comment

submitted by
Rose Rasmussen-Tzortzopoulou
on 27.12.2007

505:Ax,Anna ti mou les tora...?The Calamari thing really caught my eye,as just today I bought some Danish calamari over here in viking land,to enjoy with my sister Leone tomorrow...only for the shopkeeper to yell after me saying not to forget to boil it quite a lot before frying it!So please..fae ligo elliniko calamari yia emena.