WELCOME TO CRETE AND 2020
WELCOME TO CRETE AND 2020!
Happy New Year! We hope the year brings health and happiness. We are optimistic that the whole year will bring good things to all.
Chronia Polla. The greeting of Chronia Polla translates to “many years” . It is such a useful greeting and is used for any holiday, birthday etc. In between Christmas and New Year we, in English do not really have a greeting its too late for Merry Christmas, too Early for Happy New year and this is where Chronia Polla is just the best greeting.
Greeks are still very much attached to old traditions, and one of these is Ephiphany which happens on the 6th January. This is considered to be one of the most sacred days in the Greek Orthodox calendar. It celebrates the baptism of Christ and is also the blessing of the sea. As Greece and all the islands are surrounded by the sea they all look forward to this blessing to keep all who sail to be kept safe for another year. After the church service the priests in their celebratory tall hats and elaborate gowns lead the congregation down to the waterfront. The procession ends with the priest throwing a cross into the sea and hardy young men diving to retrieve it. An interesting development that over the past few years, is that young girls have joined the boys and young men in this ceremony. The moment the cross is lifted above the water, the boats all sound their horns and distress rockets are fired using up all the expired emergency flares, all of this adds to the excitement of the celebrations. Down at the seafront or harbour front coffee shops all around Crete and Greece will be packed and there is a jolly atmosphere and a really good feeling to be enjoyed.
Weather wise in Crete, we now start our short sharp winter, but with many clear sunny days to lift the spirits. The locals, including the fishermen and olive pickers, are grateful for the rainy days when they do not need any excuse for doing absolutely nothing. True to form the first heavy snowfall has just arrived and changed the mountains to snowy white backed with the most brilliant of blue skies
Country wise, it is astonishing how quickly the countryside changed from the dry end of summer look, to the rolling green countryside and vast areas carpeted with yellow oxalis flowers. Soon the earliest anemones will be blooming. When I first settled here I bought anemone bulbs to plant, and was more than surprised to see the hills covered with anemone flowers when mine were only starting to come up. The local anemones start with the white ones, then the deeper shades of mauve and purple follow until the warmer hillsides are covered with flowers..
We wish all our readers a Happy and healthy 2020 and hope to see you in Crete this year.