Customs About Water in Greece

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<p>CUSTOMS ABOUT WATER IN GREECE</p> <p>The following customs have their origin in the Greek tradition :</p> <p>When a woman is about to give birth, her family throw water in the street or in their garden so that the baby will flow its way into life, like water flows, very easily! When somebody is to start a journey, his family throw after him water so that his journey will be easy and safe! Konstantina Koutrouveli</p> <p>In some villages of the country, after a wedding the bride and her relatives often go to a source of running water. The bride offers some water to her guests and they all wish that her wedding will be successful. In the cities as soon as the bride leaves her parents house, her mother throws after her water for good luck in her marriage.Maria Gavriilidou</p> <p>People used to believe that water sleeps for some time, so if somebody would encounter sleeping water, like a river, he or she shouldnt speak because they would disturb it and something bad would happen to them. If they wanted to drink it they first had to stir it up so it would wake up, and afterwards drink it.</p> <p>The feeding of the water tap</p> <p>In some villages of central Greece the midnight of Christmas Eve you can still see the feeding of the water tap. The unmarried girls go around the village and when they see a water tap they cover it with butter and honey, wishing that as water flows, so will their house thrive, and as honey is sweet so will their life be. On the way back home they remain silent and bring new water to their house. Afterwards they use this water to sprinkle their houses for good luck!</p> <p>Saint Ioannis (John) KlidonasAccording to this old tradition on the 23rd of June, the night before Saint Ioannis nameday, three girls would go silently to three different water sources in a village and collect in a small bucket the silent water. Then all the girls would put something of their own in the bucket, cover it with a red cloth and put it under a pot with basil all night. The next day they would dress the youngest girl of the neighbourhood in very pretty clothes, much like a bride. She would take each item out of the bucket without knowing whose it was, and an old lady would say a small rhyme, usually an erotic one to predict the girls love life and that is what would happen to each girl, whose item was picked from the bucket. Panagiota Siammenou</p> <p>Saint Ioannis Klidonas</p> <p>Perperouna</p> <p>Perperouna is another Greek tradition. We can see it in many villages of the north-eastern country. The people dress up a poor or orphan girl with flowers and they go around the village singing a song and the other people throw at her drops of water. This means that they need rain for their plants, flowers and fields.</p> <p>When the new school year starts</p> <p>When the new school year starts a priest comes to every school in the country. After a short service he holds a branch of basil, dips it into Holy Water and sprinkles it around the school and on the forehead of every student and teacher. This is done to bring health to everyone, prosperity and good knowledge! Eleftheria Stratigopoulou</p> <p>The evil eyeWater plays an important role in breaking the spell of the evil eye.The evil eye is an ancient superstition and is a kind of negative power which we all more or less carry within ourselves. We can inflict damage on another person even unconsciously if we stare at them too long with adoration or envy. The victim will get a headache, dizziness, may stumble or fall or even faint. The one who can break the spell will put a few drops of olive oil in a cup of Holy Water. If the oil stays in the surface you are ok. If the oil dissolves you have been evil eyed. In Greek this is actually a verb. The spell breaker will read prayers, make crosses on the forehead and hands with the oil and water, do the sign of the cross several times and stand quiet for a short time. Then the spell is broken and you feel fine again.</p> <p>Epiphany traditions and celebrations in GreeceEpiphany is celebrated in Greece on January 6th. The word Epiphany comes from the Greek word Theofania meaning Appearance of God or Manifestation of God. Theofania is derived of two words: Theos meaning God and Fania meaning appearance. Epiphany in Greece symbolizes the baptismal of Jesus Christ by John the Baptist. The Feast begins the evening of January 5th with the blessing of the water at the baptismal front inside the church. The following day, January 6th, the blessings of the water begin and thus the beginning of sailing, signifying that the waters are calm. January 6th also celebrates the fact that the goblins that were present till then, are finally gone.</p> <p>Epiphany is a great celebration in Greece, even as big as Christmas. On the day of Epiphany, church was and is of the utmost importance to attend. Since Greece is surrounded with water, many churches and church goers will follow the priest to the nearest water port, so that the priest will bless the waters with the cross. Then young, teenage boys will dive into the water to retrieve it. Who ever retrieves it has the blessings of the church and good fortune for the rest of the year. Some people might think that since Greece has a warm climate, the waters will also be warm; but its not so on January 6th. The waters are still quite cold. After retrieving the cross, the winner, paraded, all wet, carried by his fellow divers, for a few blocks till they reached the church. They were followed by the priests dressed in their colorful holy clothes chanting hymns. The military band, playing, preceded them, followed by the military, significant political figures and the mayor of the city. After church, the priest would visit the homes of the parish to bless the households with the blessed water. Holding a bunch of basil thats been dipped in the blessed water in one hand, and the holy cross in the other, he would sprinkle the home and bless it. That tradition was and is very common in different parishes in Greece. Dimitris Ermeidis,Vaggelis Darganakis, Alexandros Karipidis</p> <p>Blessing of the water - Retrieving the Cross</p> <p>BaptismIn Christianity Baptism (from the Greek baptizo) is for the majority the rite of admission, almost invariably with the use of water, into the Christian Church. Baptism has been called a sacrament and an ordinance of Jesus Christ. The New Testament reports that Jesus himself was baptized. The usual form of baptism among the early Christians was for the candidate to be immersed totally or partially in water (standing or kneeling in water while water was poured on him or her). While John the Baptists use of a deep river for his baptism suggests immersion,the normal form of the Christian Baptism from the 3rd century onward indicates that the candidate would stand in water while water was poured over the upper body. Other common forms of baptism now in use include pouring water three times on the forehead. Pavlos Misailidis</p> <p>The Baptism of Jesus</p> <p>The day of the BaptismThe day of the baptism is the most important day in the life of a Greek Orthodoxs life. A baby is usually baptised the first year of its life. At the baptism the baby is undressed and wrapped in a clean, white towel. The priest blesses the baptismal water and adds some olive oil that is brought to the priest by the godparents before the ceremony begins. He dips the baby into the holy water three times, repeating the babys given name. The baby then receives a sacrament from the priest, which is olive oil that has been blessed by the patriarch (myrrh).</p> <p>At this point the baby is dressed in white clothes and the priest puts a golden cross on a chain around its neck (the golden cross and chain have been provided by the godparents), and gives the baby its first holy communion. When the ceremony ends, the parents kiss the godparents hands and remain in the church to accept the guests wishes. Sugar-coated almonds, wrapped in lace with a small gift tied to it is given to each of the guests (bobonieres). A celebration usually follows at the parents house or at a restaurant. Vasiliki Giapantzali</p> <p>Ancient Greek myths and legends</p> <p>Water was used by Zeus, the father of gods and men, as a means of punishment for people who didnt show respect to gods. So he ordered rain for days and the land was destroyed. When he decided it was enough he found Triton, Poseidons son, who had a seashell that made a beautiful sound. The rain rain stopped and all the water listened to the beautiful sound and formed land again. Poseidon also used water as a punishment for Odysseus because he had blinded his son Polyphemus the Cyclops. He ordered the sea to make huge waves to keep Odysseus away from his home, island Ithaca, for ten years.</p> <p>Poseidon, God of the Sea</p> <p>Some more myths</p> <p>Leto, the mother of Apollo and Artemis said that water belongs to everybody. When some peasants from Lycia didnt let her drink water that was in their area she turned them into frogs. Ancient Greeks believed that nearby rivers and lakes were the home of fairies. Fairies were very beautiful creatures and were either Gods or Nymphs. They loved water and they used to stand on a water lilly or dance near a water spring, a creek or a river. Maria Gavriilidou</p>


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