Since I love both history and language I thought this video was both amazing in giving new insights and intriguing as it makes you want to learn more.
Now this is a little different to what I usually post about but since it details the life of Saint Cyril and his brother who are responsible for the Cyrillic alphabet I thought it worthy of a reblog.
St Nicholas is the patron saint of fishermen and he has a chapel dedicated to him near Sappho’s Leap at the southern end of Lefkás. Saints associated with Lefkás, their churches and shrines.
There has been a temple to a deity of some kind for a long time. In the days of Sappho, it was Aphrodite trying to escape the rapturous attention of a mortal with the assistance of Apollo but the temple has long gone to be replaced by the chapel that is now there. If you wish to find out about that time visit Archeological museum In Lefkás Town.
This area was later favoured by Angelos Sikelianos, his wife Eva Palmer-Sikelianos and there friend Nikos Kazantzakis. I have told you all plenty already about those 3 characters and if I ever visit there I will be able to tell you more.
The thing about Lefkás is you can’t learn a lot online, books are better but to get an actual feel for these things, you have to see them for yourself. It’s a very Lefkádian thing as they don’t really do social media even for business purposes so if you want to communicate anything you have to see them. There old fashioned and traditional which is unusual in this modern world but also kind of nice.
From the lighthouse on the promontory called Cape Dukatos or Lefkás depending on the era in question, you can see a fabulous sunset, take beautiful pictures and enjoy the view of neighbouring Ithaka and Cephalonia.
Is there any groups of famous people in your country?
Lefkáda – Panagia Fanoroemeni Monastery (the Virgin Mary) is revealed on August 15th. There are many churches with the same name with the most famous in Cyprus thanks again Google. There is a monastery for her on Lefkás about 3km from Lefkás town. It includes a religious history museum, maritime museum and a zoo. The Venetians had some input to the architectural structure too. This is why it’s the best looking, most well maintained and well known monastery on the island. I am yet to visit this place but you can see many pictures online and on the Wikipedia article there is some info Lefkás but best check elsewhere as it’s rather lacking.
Lefkás town – Santa Maura 3rd May. There is a fort dedicated to her at the top most point of the island. I haven’t visited her either as it was closed the day I wanted to go.
Nidri – When they have weddings here it is traditional to honk your horn all the way through the village until they get home which can be quite some distance. It is a very noisy affair as the horn is sounded whenever they feel like it so about every couple of minutes. This is every vehicle in the procession so it can be a cacophony of noise. Just like the Easter celebrations except more vibrant as this is early evening instead of midnight.
White church – This is the church on the top of the island that everyone sees and sometimes they have weddings up here. The panoramic views across the entire area are phenomenal.
Sappho’s leap – St Nicholas the patron saint of Fishermen. St Nicolas 19th December.
Geni – Kiriaki 7th July Agia Kyriaki
This is the shrine below dedicated to her and the church that is nearby. I’ve been inside too for a lovely christening but I didn’t take any pictures as there were 2 professional photographers but I don’t know if I’ll ever see the photos of that event.
As you can see I have visited some areas and not others due to there location.
Do you have any special saints that you worship where you are?
An important part of Greek culture is the church. So celebrating your name day or saints day is another way to show appreciation for the days gone by. It’s not so important nowadays but the tradition continues. Mine is March 25th but I’ve never celebrated it because it’s too early in the year and I’m never in Greece then.
Do you have any unique celebrations like this in your country?
The egg is a vital part of the celebrations here for it is dyed red to represent the blood of Christ (Kokkino Auga), the egg itself represents rebirth as it’s the continuation of the chickens life but also it gives you vital nutrients that you have been missing out on while you have been fasting (Sarakosti-a shortened form of 40 days). Tsougrisma – The cracking of the egg represents the emergence of Jesus Christ from the tomb that he was sealed in when he died. It also shows that one champion always emerges from the struggles of many. I like the highly symbolic nature of the traditions here. They have lost there meaning in the UK. Who for instance knows why we roll eggs down a hill?
The other tradition here is the breaking of pots to stop death from re-entering the house. It’s why the Greeks break plates at celebrations too. It’s a way of casting out the evil that is around like carrying the eye to prevent bad things from happening to you. You can also have the eye (mati or matia for 2) on stones that you place on each floor to bring you luck. There are a lot of superstitions in Greece as you can expect. Also there are the kolumboi – worry beads which are bracelets that are commonly worn and playing with the beads helps to ease your troubled mind.
There are many wishes too that are said on the different days depending on the progress of Jesus but these are not quite so prevalent this year. There is good resurrection – Kalo Anesti, Christos Anesti – Christ has risen and Alithos Anesti – truly his has. You can always say Kronia Polla – many happy returns/years for every occasion.
Soon we will have the Mayday celebrations (first of May) when they all go camping. Also you get to say Kalo Mina – happy (new) month, Kalo enthomanda – happy (new) week and Kali spera – happy (new) day. Not forgetting that the weekend just gone would be Kalo sabbatokriaki – happy weekend or if you doing text speak happy SK. ( literally Saturday/Sunday). Depending on when Easter fell you might also come across Kalo Anoixe – happy spring as that’s to welcome in the season. It’s also the word for open as the world is opening itself for life to resume once more. Although this is mainly a March wish you can get early Easter’s. While we are on the subject of wishes I may as well complete the set by saying you can say Kalo Martias – Happy March or Kalo Aprilias – Happy April but these are less commonly seen and heard as there specific.
It’s odd Easter continues until the Monday, they go back to work on Tuesday and then Wednesday there off again as it’s a bank holiday. They always celebrate on the day here not like in the UK where it’s always the Monday.
The one thing that was done in the UK but not here is the wearing of the Easter bonnet. It’s certainly too hot here at the minute but some years it can be quite cold so it would be suitable weather wise.
Na’ste Kala kai Kalo Pascha. (Be Well and Happy Easter. )
This tv show is the philosophical successor to the Matrix. This show is so amazing in how it captures your attention and makes you think so deeply about what is real and what is worthy of your attention. It strips away all artifice and lays bare who you really are at your core. I dare you to watch this show and not be transformed after viewing it. It’s a good way to analyse your own psyche without having to under go hypnosis, meditation or even go as as far as visiting a retreat or taking transcendental drugs.
To examine what is real and what is not is a very Buddhist way of thinking. Becoming one with yourself and seeking the true path to enlightenment is quite some task. This is what religion has tried to inspire in us over the millennia to varying degrees of success. Since it is so difficult to achieve and none is ever sure how to do it or what happens when it has been achieved. Numerous books have been written on the subject with their own version of attaining self actualisation. I believe we all try to attain this state at some point in our lives. We just differ in our methods of attempting this process.
I believe my way of entering this trance state is every time I watch a programme that commands my entire attention. This is rare that I enter this flow state but it is beautiful. I feel reborn and that I am connected to everything in the universe. I know that everything is going to be fine because I am at peace with the world. The state of catharsis is the most blissful feeling you can have. It is the absence of feeling but also a complete and utter fulfilment. So you are full of the most magnificent cleanliness. It is difficult to describe the fullness and emptiness at the same time.
This is however when we are at our most free and at our most creative. When we connect to ourselves and our very being it is a marvellous thing to behold. We need to hold on to this higher state of being for as long as possible as we all want to reach nirvana one day and to remain for as long as possible if not for eternity.
Since we are currently in both catholic and orthodox Lent, it is fortuitous that I am currently feeling that way and it’s only just begun. The whole purpose of this time is to get to get closer to the most pure version of ourselves. When we purify through lack of stimulants both external and internal; we open our minds and bodies to the possibility of greatness. When we stop all the different versions of ourselves that we need for our daily lives and become the one that is the crux of our being; then we can rise above everything and be the very best version of ourselves. In doing so we can help all those around in their personal quests too. For a healthy community nourishes the land, life and everything.
Have you ever thought you would be able to achieve such a state of peace?
Wishing you all well,