Thursday, 17 April 2014

Holy Thursday – Megali Pempti ...

Kali Anestisi!

Good morning and Happy Easter from Big week here in Skiathos ...

Early sunlight ...
Where the church bells are ringing out early, and every day for communion, and very well attended evening services. The churches are full, standing room only, the singing from within, can be heard out in the streets and squares. The heady waft of incense as you pass by, many candles in the entrances for parishioners remembering absent friends and family.

Into the bakery at Agia Triada, where I was reprimanded for being late on parade ...


Knock Knock - Who is there ? Today it will be children with their hand made cross, decorated with flowers, after the communion service this morning. I saw quite a few were busy last night, heading home from the florist shops and friendly gardens, loaded with blooms and fresh rosemary to decorate their handiwork.

Some are quite simple affairs, made from bamboo tied together with wire. Others are apparent family heirlooms decorated with beautiful displays that any interflora florist would be proud of ...

Photo courtesy of  ©  Magda Mavrogali 
The children will be touring the streets, this morning, knocking on neighbours doors, and hopefully gaining rewards for their efforts decorating their cross, with flowers representing the crucifixion. I will try to get some photos later ...

Tsoureki anyone - Take your pick ...


Tsoureki, a Greek plaited Easter bread that's so delicious you may be at risk of eating the whole loaf ...

The Boomeranger club- Pasca branch, are almost all back in town. Leslie arrived last night via Athens. Philiposs is departing Volos this morning, for the island. Stig, Pelle and their wives are enjoying a tsipouro tour of the island. Plans are ongoing for the 'Boomerangers Pasca get together' this weekend ...

My lovely neighbour Maria from Thessaloniki is here, and has been serenading me from her balcony. I am delighted her mother has made the trip too. I must get my suit out and go and visit them later, or I will be in big trouble ...

The Kalypso boat is back on the new harbour, after its winter maintenance, ready for Summer 2014. The day trip yachts are back, and 'laying their towels on their sunbeds' as they secure their position down on the yacht harbour.

Our chuggy ferry Proteus, returns to the island route this morning, leaving Volos at 08:15am ...

This Saturday morning, a couple of thousand of us, will be walking the streets, with our Greeks Orthodox friends, and island neighbours. The all night Ephitaphos services at Tries Hieraches, and Panagia Limani churches, culminating in a 4am candlelit procession around the streets at 4am.

The Boomerangers will be there too, along with island friends, and the new arrivals who have chosen to live here. Its quite different now from when I first did the walks, around ten years ago. Then I was the only Brit, apart from a guy called Carlos, who by his own admission was a bit of a 'Heinz57' (He also was absolutely plastered) - We walked the route together, and the locals were amazed at the 'two xenos with candles'

They said to us, why are you here, and thanked us profusely, for joining with them. We were showered with rose water, around Plakes, and delighted to be there sharing the experience. Neither of us could believe we were the only Brits walking, as we shared a cheese pie in Papadamatis street at 4.30am. In addition he covered me in hot candle wax, so that was my Pasca baptism.

We remain friends to this day, whenever I am in Volos, he somehow seems to find me, we have a beer, a meze or two. Usually we pay nothing because, he 'knows them' and as a result they now know me - Never sure if that is a good thing but we have had some amazing lunches, and to date its all been a positive when I go back ...

I sat with another great friend - 'Mary from the Pounta' after the St Georges day horse race, a few days later and said. Why are the Brits not here? They would love it. She agreed, and over coffee, and we may have had an ouzo or two, I thought about it, whilst looking out at the sea ...

I went home armed with photos, and used my access to the now sadly defunct Bulletin board - and told people about it. The feedback was amazing - why have we not heard about this before ...

Then I started the Boomerang club, for those who had, or wanted an affinity with the island. The Brits and others who like a Boomerang - always come back. That came from the conversation with Mary, and is how the ball started rolling.

I have been looking at some of the photos from the annual Boomerang nights. I wonder how many hundreds have dined out over the years, as a result of that conversation, and the first Boomerang night down at Taverna Alexandros. Most of those from that first Boomerang club night, (which went on until 5.30am), will be back here again this year ...

Then the following year, I came back for Pasca, and did it again, and told as many people as I could about it. So it continued, until I moved here, when some more Brits, joined the processions with me, and they also spread the word too. Now there are friends who see Pasca as the 'non miss' event as part of their years holidays. I greatly admire them for it ...

When you think about it - Why are you not here too ?

Another day dawns, hopefully it will be a dry one, for the new arrivals. An amazing sunrise yesterday morning witnessed from Agia Triada, It was a red one and foretold the arrival of the rain last night.

I have to go to work - Yes the Skiathian has been quiet lately. Quite a busy few days, a few aches and strains, but the body is feeling better for the workout.

Later I have an interesting appointment. One of the candidates for the mayoral election, wants to sit down for a chat. I have no political leanings, so it should be interesting ...

Megali Pempti - Big Thursday indeed ...

All content, including Photographs, graphics, text, © The Skiathian 2010-2014. All rights reserved

9 comments:

  1. Yes I think he will ask you to be minister for tourism as you have done so much to promote Skiathos.

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    1. Very interesting chat, not sure my views will see election to the top table. Still plenty of room at 'deep six' off Evia ...

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  2. No pics of the red eggs!, Many years ago I did a school assembly about Easter in Greece and we had the painted eggs and the game played...good memories.

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    1. Hi Marion, Sorry you do not like the pictures of the Red Eggs.Its the culture here at this time of the year. I always win the game, I have a wooden egg ...

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  3. Hi you have misunderstood me <I haven't seen any pics of red eggs today that what I was saying ,however thinking about it I may have seen one a while ago.

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    1. Look closely at the Tsoureki ....

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  4. wonderful photos and someone should definitely employ you for promoting tourism in Skiathos :-)

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    1. Depends if I stand in the election :)

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    2. Depends if I stand in the election :)

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