2nd Junior High School of Kalymnos, Dodecanese, Greece

(By John MOUSELLI,Magou Savvina, B2)

250px-GRECO_NatividadTwelve are the days from Christmas until Epiphany. The Twelve Days of Christmas are celebrated very simple in Kalymnos. This appears also from the way that adorn the island. Older they did not decorate a tree. The first Chrismas tree was decorated on the island by Mrs. Catherine Vouvalis, built when the Girls School was be built. This Christmas tree was decorated outside the school and its branches was hanging by gifts instead of ornaments for the kids.
Previously it was absolutely essential that all the inhabitants of the island attended the Christmas service. An official of the City who lit the lanterns on the streets, had to beat all the doors of houses and waking all the islanders to go to church.
The traditional Christmas table containing rooster or pork with leek or well-established throughout Greece stuffed turkey. Christmas morning, when they were returning from church, drank the juice from the cock, or eating soup from that. Twelve days’Traditional sweets are the buns and melomakarona, “phinikia” as they are called in Kalymnos. Slicing the Pie made with the change of time and of course is still a glaring opportunity to the island from the dynamite and rifles (Mousellis John). Kalymnos Christmas Day listen dynamites falling when the church ends comes together the entire family in a house with their grandparents, grandmothers and uncles, aunts and cousins ​​(Maraka Mary) and eat chicken soup in the morning and in the afternoon enjoy the festive table includes the traditional turkey and everyone is excited and happy (Irene Mela). We also decorate a Christmas tree with ribbons, ornaments, and lights, and backyards of our homes (Marrakech Mary).vaftisixristou

Epiphany Day (The fact Jesus Christ was baptized)

The day of Epiphany in all parts of Greece there are many men who are brave diving to find the cross. They also have economic benefits. The child who found the cross, together with other children of his parish, took the cross and walk going from house to house throughout Kalymnos. In return they were given money. If they do not have time to return all homes on the island in one day, they are holding the cross in the house and continued the next day.
Today, when the cross comes out of the sea, attendees at the worship place was dropping. You can stop the procession of the cross from house to house, did not stop there and the financial gain that which plunged into the icy waters to find it. The reward is a gold cross, a gift from Bishop, and the money given by the faithfuls when they worship the cross.


Carols, “the traouia” as told to Kalymnos, narrated and said today on the eve of every celebration (Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Epiphany’s Day). Previously herders who played the bagpipes, they used to say on the eve of the celebration these carols. Today the only one who comes out with the bagpipes and tells the kallanta is Mr. Nicos forehead from the Deep.
As in many parts of Greece, and so on Kalymnos has now prevailed carols from small to be called to the accompaniment of a triangle. But, fortunately, although rare, there are still young guys who come out and say it to the accompaniment of the violin. Whoever found the Twelve Kalymnos can hear the classic carols are heard almost throughout the country, but they will have the opportunity to hear the time honored traditional carols island.


Christmas Carols

This is the day where Jesus Christ was born by Virgin Mother Mary,

Anarchy, authority receives becames a man our God, the unborn arises in the humble manger.
Angels say to the new message to pastors and shepherds
And the star shows the miracle at the Magicians and wise men.
Oral:  Live well many Years.

New Year carols

The carols that follow, are the oldest carols sung on the island. Today carols are called either the Band or the few adults that sometimes come out to sing the carols or even from different unions say it for a charity.

Santa Claus is coming over MARASI,
holding a pot of wine must come to our treats.
– Sit down to eat, sit down to drink, sit your pain to say, sit to sing

– But me, the good parents are not learning me sing, they only learned me letters and letters telling you.
– And as you knew letters tell us the alphabet

And stick the green shoots popping it turns out,
And descends partridges, carnations smells wet  their wings
And rained my master, our maste who shall live many years.
Happy years and one piece of sweet named baklava!
When sung carols them the praise continued for the Lady, daughter and son without interruption:
Nowadays young people, and the elders, sing carols more of the following:

Epiphany Carols
The month is January 5th and today we all celebrate the lights of the Lord.
All priests walk with the cross in their hands and put Jesus Christ inside our homes and the Jordan river’s water
Help keep the great John, body and soul is in great joy
And the heavens torn and went dove dove but was not, was the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit has left to go to testify that Christ is baptized in the East and West.
Down in Jerusalem and Christ’s tomb, there was no tree and tree came on,
The tree was Christ, the root of the Virgin and branches of it  was his testimony,
Who testified and said about Christ’s passions.
Live happy and many years!
Kalymnos island infertile, suffer greatly from hunger during the Occupation. The following measures (c) Procedure (d) k, which was called at the time, a witness.

The manners and customs of the New Year.

The New Year So, as formed under the influence of the church and its connection with the feast of St. Basil perpetuated until today as a folk festival. The most important traditions are:
The distribution of gifts to the children, which the housewives used to make at home. These cakes are mainly like melomakarona, buns, turnovers, etc.
Children at New Year’s eve sing carols in homes and shops on the life of St. Basil and the importance of his work and collect tips.
Many call one who has a “good omen” on the morning of New Year.
Also, do not give anything out of the house, do not throw water out of it and do not mention names pests.
Midnight stay a few seconds before 12, turn off the lights and families around the New Year’s table chanting hymns, exchange kisses and cut the traditional New Year’s cake. He even finds in the coin, which is hidden within it, is considered the winner of the year. (Maggie Savina, B2).

The Vasilopita (Cake or Pie of Saint Basil

350-basilopita-by-flyThe pie, we make New Year’s Eve and cut into festive gathering of family members or other relatives and friends, has its roots in the ancient Greco-Roman traditions.
In Saturn or Saturnalia in Rome made sweets and pies into which they put coins and whoever happened piece was the winner of the gang.
The Orthodox tradition connected with the custom Vasilopita. And the story is as follows: Saint Great Bishop Basil to protect his region, Caesarea of ​​Cappadocia, from raid of enemies (Maggie Savina) or fitness tried to conquer the province of Cappadocia with intenti250px-Greek_vasilopitaon of plunder (Mousellis John, B2), did a fundraiser and collect gold coins and other valuables, to give them their enemies, to entice them, not to plunder the area. The enemy, however, was not able to invade Caesarea and valuables left (Maggie Savina). (Or at other history, however, either because they repented the prefect, or (according to others) miraculously Saint Mercurius with a host of angels removed the army, Provincial freed the city from the impending disaster) Mousellis John .. Then Basil told me to make a few pies – rolls into which they put a gold coin, or something else of all the precious things that had gathered. The pies were handed out to all and everyone was keeping what’s happened. Too many were and children … This brought double joy for the bread but because everyone in the bread he found what he had given us! For this reason we exchange   gifts every New Year and we believe brings St. Basil, bishop of Love, the inventor and founder of the city Basileiada that his wisdom and love for Christ turned it into immeasurable love for the people entrusted to the Church. Fed the poor, the elderly cared of, supported widows and poor mothers, learned professions orphans. He slept on January 1st and honoring his memory, we make the Vasilopita and make gifts to our fellowmen, offer mimicking his own love.
The Vasilopita is made with several variations.
So in some places are cakes or brioches, other salty or sweet pies with leaves, while some are bread like Christopsomo. Differences in Pie encounter and decoration fl250px-Flouri_Vasilopitaying. However, a common element of decoration is a cross and the inscription of the year. However, in all cases the Vasilopita is round and hides inside one coin.
The Vasilopita is a combination of “festive bread” and “melipikton” of ancient tenders to ensure the health, good fortune and blessing of St. Basil.
The majority of Greeks cut the Vasilopita shortly after the turn of the year. However, in some parts of Greece to cut the Vasilopita lunch table, the day of Saint Basil on January 1st. Whenever however you cut, followed the same ritual: The landlord of crosses three times with a knife and then begins to cut the pieces. The first is the Christ, the Virgin of the second, the third of St. Basil, the fourth of the house and follow the tracks of the family members in order of age.

By Magou Savvina and Mousellis John, B2

New Year’s Traditions from Greece

Customs that usually observed on the first day day of the year in our country is characterized by the quantity and variety.
Most of these are related in one way or another with the fate like the omen, the pomegranate and the gambling, fireworks and fun, and finally there are some that tend to disappear as colognes, the slaughter of the pig or onions for luck.
The last few years have established the fireworks in the central squares of cities. It is the responsibility of organizing and municipal authorities also provide for the festive adornment of the cities, and the organization of musical events for New Year’s Eve.πυροτεχνήματα
Colognes (Perfums): New Year’s Eve night, the townspeople with joy for the coming of the New Year come down the street holding bottles of cologne and sprinkle each other singing: “We came with roses and flowers you we say Happy Birthday” . And the last prayer of the time share is’ Good Cut, “ie good to part the old year. “Again you have heard rulers again we say to you that tomorrow esti need to enjoy and panigyrizomen circumcision circumcision Lord, the feast of Makaros Basil the Great” (from the book of Angeliki Mastromichalaki, Christmas, New Years Eve).
The old Athenians were waiting for Santa Claus the night before with wide open the doors of their homes, because according to tradition it was … tired and hungry from the long journey, a great laid the table and loaded with the finest pastries and foods to accommodate the … behind the table that we gather the night before and the whole family was waiting for to start the feast …. At midnight the lights went off and drove to the jeers the old year, flying back (!) On the road one old shoe.
The children hang on the eve of New Year, shoes and socks into windows or fireplace waiting to pass the Santa Claus to fill gifts. In circles seems to bode well north wind blows in the New Year. Also consider a good sign if you come in their yard dove that day. But if you fly over their home raven puts them in gloomy thoughts that supposedly await their misfortunes ….
The pomegranate is a symbol of abundance, fertility and good luck. In many parts of Greece hung on each home from the Fall, a pomegranate. After the Great Operation of the New Year by throwing power at threshold to break into a thousand pieces and said: “Happy Birthday! Happy new year! “. The custom of New Year’s pomegranate maintained today. While changing the time the front door of the house fly and break a pomegranate and put inside the house with her right foot making the omen that the new year bring them all right, good luck.

The slaughtering of the pig

xoirinoAn old custom, progress, and modern conveniences have off, is the slaughtering of the pig. Each family grows in the backyard a pig to slaughter days of festivities. New Year’s Eve the housewifloukanikae in a cauldron of boiling water too.
The butcher with the help of other men slaughtered the pig. After slaughtering and cleaning of the hair with boiling water, tearing off the pig and divided into pieces: head, feet, intestines, legs etc.
The bladder, the “bubble” of the pig, the clean, and the swelled give children to play. The intestines they washed well and put in vinegar. Chopped pieces of pig meat they put on eight days in wine and then filled with those making sausage casings.
Sausages and meat of the pig, since hung to a pole, the smoke from a fire pitches, Mersin and cistus to dry. After hanging in the sun to dry thoroughly. The meat of the pig ate all year.
Onions for luck
The skylokremmydo or onion plant is common in Crete. It grows wild and looks like a large onion. The animals will not eat because it has venom, which can cause skin irritation from contact. Even removing it from the earth and hang it, it still turns out new leaves and flowers. The people believe that this great vital strength can be imparted to the animate and inanimate, so the New Year skylokremmydo hang in their homes. It is an ancient custom of good luck century already mentioned by 6p.Ch. Today tends to be abandoned.

Gambling: Favorite Greek custom of the days of the New Year is to try their luck.
Homes are custom playing cards in the evening of New Year’s Eve waiting for the time change. The amounts are usually low, such that simply offer a friendly fun without worrying losers.

New Year’s Eve’s Traditions in Greece

First day of a new year New Year’s Day, and throughout Greece hurries To celebrate her own unique way. Get a taste of how welcome this special day in different parts of our country.

Samos: The ‘Provence’ and ‘moulistrinia ”
Besides the cake, women make of Samos and “Provence.” It is a sweet dish that “deems” the good housewife ability of woman in Samos. Necessary “ingredient” of each house is the breaking of pomegranate and dispersal of seeds to fill your home happiness and health, while the lucky ones who will make omen, they get the “boulistrina”, known to all our pocket money.

Thasos: The shedding of leaves
This is a very old custom during which all sit around the fireplace, grabbing Coal outward and throwing around f coals, olive leaf, putting on their minds than a wish, without, however, the tell others. Whoever turned the sheet over, that will also see the blessing.
Town Kavala’s carols sung by lighting bonfires
A very old custom, derived from years of Ottoman rule: the boys would leave troops in the new year, collect large piles of wood in the square. Stay lit a fire and sing carols. With the index shows twelve begins the festivities with traditional sweets and raki. In other parts of Kavala, the smallest member of the family carries a stone inside the house to be solid and strong family, while younger children do “omen” in all the houses of each village, entering with his right. To bring good luck, rewards owners with gifts and sweets.

Eastern Macedonia: The “Momogeri”
With roots from the Sea, “Momogeri” revived every year in Sitagroi Platania and Drama. This is a kind of traditional folk theater, where the actors mimic Elder persons, hence andthe etymology of the word “Momogeri” from “+ mime Old Man.”

Xanthi: Leek pie, as we say Vasilopita!
Families open sheet and prepare a leek pie, mince and spice cumin. The pie is baked in a traditional pan, called “sini”.

 Heraklion, Crete: the pies and ‘good hands with. ”
Every year the New Year in Crete accompanied by high consumption bougatsa. For this purpose, all the roads of Heraklion in stalls to be the first sweet flavor that will get the locals. As for pocket money; This is called “good hands with” abundant and flowing! Decades earlier, ‘good hands with “was the only gift that they took the children at New Year and in many cases it was simply a treat and not a lot of money there, but no shops games.


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