“Ohi Day” commemorates the rejection by Greek prime minister Ioannis Metaxas of the ultimatum made by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini on the 28th of October 1940, to allow Italian forces to enter Greece or otherwise face war.
This is a day when this beautiful village of Peloponnese celebrates, as it is the name day of its patron saints, Saint Anargiri. Two celebrations take place, one during the winter and the second during the summer. This is the smaller one.
Below is a house I see something I have never seen before elsewhere in Greece. An image of Christ who smiles. I go in and stare at him for a while. I liked the idea.
After eating a delicious food, singing starts. There are local musicians playing. Oldest men sing first, the priest also. In a while, dancing starts. This will last until morning.
A lot of people come and stay in the monastery until late, chanting for the icon. I found a small cell with a fireplace and I decided to sleep there with a local guy since I should get up before sunrise to follow the litany. Most of the people have left, headed back home, planning to arrive in the morning, for the litany.
This is a very big celebration for the city of Patras in Peloponnese. Saint Andreas is the patron saint of the city and this is his name day, so this celebration is one of the biggest religious celebrations of Patras.
Bonfires are lit on New Year's Eve to welcome the New Year. An ancient Pagan (Dionysian) custom on the shore of a beautiful, serene and at the same time surreal small village.
The fires of Christmas is an ancient custom that is very widespread in the villages around Florina in Greece. Large bonfires are being set in central squares and each village tries to make a bigger and better fire than their neighbors.
While waiting for the fire of Achlada to start at midnight, a custom that takes place in many villages around Florina on December 23, the guys we met there told us to go together at the next village, Giourouki, to see the fire there as well. They would start that earlier than Achlada, since that was a smaller village and most of the local people there would visit the big fire of Achlada later.