Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Kalo Mina - Ιανουάριος ...

Kalo Mina - Good Month - Ianouários - January ...

Good morning from Skiathos, Where it is officially the coolest, greyest day of the year so far.
καλη χρονια σε ολους - Good Year to all ...

Feet up, and a good book kind of day, its as quiet as a mouse down here on the rock ...

So how was your New year ? As I said previously here on the blog, at this time of the year its quiet. Most people have gone somewhere else. In fact last night it was deathly quiet apart from the gunfire (Cue howls of derision). It started at 23:44 pm - Shotguns were being fired, by the hunters in Skiathos town, as well as across the island which was a little earlier than usual ...

I went out into the street, It was totally deserted. Shutters drawn, and murmured voices from within. I had bought a Vassilopita - The traditional cake for New Years night. Midnight came, and to a volley of gunfire around the town, we celebrated the start of the new year with Kalo Podariko - Getting the year off on the right foot ...

Here the youngest member of the house, is the first to enter the house in the new year. Having been in and out - In what was a deserted street for 15 minutes or so, Junior was probably quite pleased to come back indoors.

The youngest, who is 'the purest' must enter the house, 'Right foot first' - As must everyone else who follows, thus 'Getting the year off on the right foot' on the first day of the year ...

That done, Once indoors we cut the Vassilopita cake ...



Vasilopita is considered the Greek New Year’s cake. It is associated with the Orthodox Saint Basil’s day on January 1 in Greece. On New Year’s Day families cut the Vasilopita to bless the house, and to bring good luck for the new year. Its certainly a very popular cake, and was flying out of the door of the bakery earlier.

It is traditional to bake a coin into the Vasilopita (St. Basil’s cake). The one who receives the coin is considered to be especially blessed for the year. (It was me but I put it back for Junior to find, so two in one day Junior should be well blessed for 2014)

A piece of cake is sliced for each member of the family, and for any visitors present at the time. Slices are also cut for various other people or groups, depending on local and family tradition. They may include St. Basil and other saints, the Virgin Mary, the Church and the poor. However its mainly for guests who come to visit to wish you a Happy New Year.

That was impossible, due to a total lack of passers by, or any of the neighbours venturing out into our deserted street to see in the new year. (We normaly open the doors to let the old year out, and the new one in) So we retired to watch Jools Holland, with a glass of something fizzy, on what really was the quietest night of the year ...

Its remained if not the coolest, but certainly the greyest day of the year, and this evening has a misty rain in the air. That combined by the lack of breeze, and the woodsmoke, Its probably not the healthiest on the mainland as people try to keep warm in the cities.

Off to load up the woodburner, and a cup of tea. Keep warm wherever you are ...

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