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Off the beaten path, 5 bizarre Greek customs

Crete ● Epirus ● Greece ● Heraklion ● Peloponesse ● 21 October 2016
 

Off the beaten path, 5 bizarre Greek customs

• Feast in the cemetery...

This custom comes from Crete. In Heraklionduring good Friday, the locals begin to prepare the diner which they are going to have on Monday after Easter. This feast is set up to be shared with their beloved ones who are not alive anymore. They clean the tombstones, and then in the cemetery they have a diner with traditional desserts and other delicacies. This ritual is a means to honor the memory of their departed relatives and spread the message of the resurrection which is a great symbol for Easter and Christianity.

• The feeding of the fountain

We usually feed the children, the animals and ourselves.. But in central Greece, the custom has it to feed the fountains. In many villages, during New Years Eve or during the dawn of Christmas, the young women empty all the crocks with water they have in their homes and they go to fill them again in the village's fountain. As they head to the fountain they remain silent, they carry with them butter, wheat, cheese, honey etc. With the food they try to "schmooze'" the fountain so to bring them good fortune, the girl who will reach first the fountain will have good luck for the rest of the year.

• Hello, we just came to burn you..

This is a bizarre and also dangerous custom which comes from Epirus. It is based on an old tradition which says that when the shepherds went to visit the newborn Christ, they burnt tree brunches during their way, and with this way they light the dark sky. In the same manner, on Christmas night, whoever goes around the neighborhood to celebrate carries a branch or a stick with a burning fire and all the village's alleys are light with fires.

• Vinegar with spider..

In Peloponnese, during Lent people do not eat or cook anything. Some of the villagers who can not stand it, drink a glass of vinegar and put in it a small appetizer....a spider. Because according to the tradition, Christ during his martyrdom was fed with the same mixture.

Lent

• Lets eat a leg

Our last but not least custom is one again connected with the Lent which precedes the Easter.

Where to Stay

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