Spetses Island Local Customs

  • The Parade Begins
    The Parade Begins
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  • Best Local Float
    Best Local Float
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    Pirate Pedia/children
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Most Recent Local Customs in Spetses Island

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    CARNIVAL

    by janetanne Written Mar 13, 2012

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    The Parade Begins
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    Spetses has a very unique Parade on the last Sunday before Clean Monday. All the local groups, schools, private citizens construct floats and dress up in colourful costumes. There are always floats in the carnival parade with political satire and 2012 was no exception.

    As they say, 'A picture speaks a thousand words,' so please have a look at the wonderful photos of a great little parade in Spetses, February 26, 2012...

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    Icon being Restored

    by janetanne Written Nov 27, 2009

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    Treating the wood with insect killer
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    If you are lucky to be in the church when the old icons are being restored, you will be treated to a very special and rare occasion. While visiting Spetses in November, 2009, I was so blessed to watch a local icon restorer working on precious icons from the 1700's. What a delicate and difficult job this is. First they clean the surface of the icon with a special solution, then they inject with syringes, a chemical that kills any insects that have inhabited the wood and silently destroy from within the structure of the wood. Finally, they carefully fill in any crack while retaining the original integrity of the artists work. Such fascinating work and such marvelous renewed surfaces reclaimed.

    In the photos, you will see a local restorer, Andreas working alone in the church of Agios Antony in Dapia, Spetses.

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    Easter Lamb

    by janetanne Written Apr 23, 2009

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    But it is soooooo tasty!
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    If you have never been in Greece during Easter...you have missed one of the most special occasions of the entire year. You have missed the roasting of the lamb on the 'Souvla' and the company of friends and family sharing a joyous time.

    Here are some photos of my extended family in Greece celebrating the day.

    Be sure to also see the videos I have posted of the Easter lamb being roasted.

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    Easter Celebration

    by janetanne Written Apr 23, 2009

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    Traditional Maygaritsa Soup Midnight Easter Eve
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    The most important Greek Celebration, is that of Easter. Easter for the Orthodox Greeks, is not just about one day of the year, but an entire season that last for 40 days. The culmination of the 40 day fasting and special Church ceremonies is of course the Saturday night ritual of attending the liturgy that signifies the assumption of Christ on the Cross. Actually the last week, or 'Holy Week,' (Megali Evdomada) is one week of Church, each day remembering a day in the life of Christ.

    Besides the religious aspect, Easter celebration centers around family, friends and what else but FOOD! Food before Easter; Fasting non-meat dishes, Food Easter night to break the Fasting, Mayaritsa Soup; Food Easter Day; The roasting of the Lamb on the Spit and the Kokkoretsi! All are but 'a minute on the lips, forever on the hips!!!' I gained 3 kilos in 6 days!

    Here are but a few FOOD AND FRIEND photos of Easter spent in Spetses, April, 2009.

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    Spetses In the Winter - Theofania Celebration

    by janetanne Written Jan 9, 2009

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    Getting Ready to Dive into Cold Sea for the Cross
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    Going to the Greek islands in the winter can sometimes be daunting, especially when the sea get rough. Spetses is one of the few Greek islands that is so close to the mainland that a small water taxi can transport visitors in almost even the roughest of weather.

    My last trip was for the festive event held every January 6th. when the church celebrates the ceremony of 'Theofania,' or in English, the 'Epiphany.' This is to honour the baptism of Christ by St. John the Baptist and also symbolizes the coming of the 'light' from the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the Greek word, "Theofania," means exactly "the Light of God."

    Because Greece is a seafaring nation, surrounded by the sea, the celebration of the Theofania is also a time when the priests bless the sea. The ceremony consists of the young boys of the local area, diving in to the fridgid winter sea and racing to catch the cross that is thrown into the sea by the priests. The boy who catches the cross has good luck for himself and his family for the coming year.

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    Carrying by horse-dawn

    by Aggeliki Updated Aug 27, 2006

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    Spetses has the same policy with cars as Hydra. They are not permitted on the island and transportation is, like in Hydra, effectuated by horse-drawn carriage, donkey or taxi-boat.
    Especially the picturesque and colourful horse carriages are an original and picturesque way to visit the town. They can be found on the new port, Dapia. Its a great experience!

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    Armata- Part 2. The Outcome of the Battle

    by janetanne Updated Oct 27, 2005

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    Armata Boat in Harbour Ready to be Burned

    In the midst of the smoke...a smoke shield...the sly and smart Greek Captain knew what he must do and exactly how he would do the impossible!

    It was at this very moment, when the smoke was at its densest and at the height of the battle, that the fearless and clever Spetsiot's captain, Cosmas Barbatsis took charge of his fire ship, (a smaller boat packed with explosives towing a rowing boat for escape), and into the pandemonium of cannon fire he led his crew towards the centre of the Turkish fleet, aiming to blow up the enemy flag ship. Surprised by such a bold action, the Turkish fleet started to withdraw but it was too late! The damage would be done and would live in history as is celebrated every year in Spetses at the Armata in September!

    Tradition says that the Turkish flag ship was engulfed in flames and sunk in front of Spetses harbour. As a result the Turkish fleet left in defeat. Nafplion was therefore no longer supplied with food and ammunition,and thereby was surrendered to the Greek forces on the 30th November 1822.

    Since 1931, the naval battle of Spetses has been re-enacted each year and is an important event in the social life of the island. During the week long festival and especially on the day of the re-enactment, thousands of Greek and foreigh vistors come to enjoy and join in the celebrations.

    If you plan on being in Spetses during this celebration, be prepared to be amound thousands...and I am not exagerating...thousands of people the night of the burning of the Armata ship! If you don't like crowds, noise, and fireworks, this is not the time to be in Spetses. If you do come, make sure you have arranged accommodations plenty of time in advance as last minute bookings are totally impossible.

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    Armata Celebration- Part 1 Naval Battle Begins

    by janetanne Written Oct 27, 2005

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    Armata Firework Display
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    The famous naval battle of the 'Armata' has been celebrated on Spetses island at the beginning of September every year since 1931. The battle was one of, if not the most famous naval battle to have taken place during the Greek struggle for independence for Turkish rule. The battle occurred on the 8th of September 1822, when Turkish warships approached Spetses hoping to destroy the Greek stronghold of the island.

    The Greek Naval Commander, Andreas Miaoulis ordered his ships to follow him to the entrance of the Gulf. In this way, he hoped to lure the Turkish fleet into a weak position in the harbour thus allowing his ships and land battlements to defeat them in a sea battle.
    The Spetsiot's captains, I. Tsourpas, D. Lambrou (or Leonidas) and I.Koutsis, with the Hydriot captain, A. Kriexis however, disagreed with this stratagy and disobeyed the commander's orders by quickly attacking the enemy fleet. Shortly after they were joined by more Spetsiot's captains in their effort to push the enemy away and save their island. Despite the strong headwind and the superiority of the Turkish fleet in number and size of vessels and also in armaments, the battle carried on into the late afternoon. The area between Hydra & Spetses was covered with such a dense cloud of smoke tha the people of Hydra thought that the island of Spetses must be on fire. This proved to be the most critical moment for the outcome of this historical battle.

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    En Dio, En Dio, One, Two, One Two

    by janetanne Written Apr 3, 2005

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    Spetses' Best Foot Forward

    The best student of the class always has the privilege of carrying the flag in the 25th of March parade. The parade begins with the local dignitaries and teachers leading, followed by the youngest students and finally by the oldest children from the High School. Wouldn't we teachers wish that our students followed each lesson with such dignity and pride!

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    The sons of Kolokotronis and Bouboulina?

    by janetanne Updated Apr 3, 2005

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    Foustinella Fellas!

    These young boys are dressed in the local costumes that were once the daily dress of heros of the Greek Revolutionary War. Aren't they cute? "Hey there, little Bouboulina, are you looking for brave sailors for your battle ship?"

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    Great, great, great, granddaughter of Bouboulina

    by janetanne Written Apr 3, 2005

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    Such Innocence A War could fight?

    On the 25th of March, besides being a religious holiday, this day is the day that Greek's all over the world celebrate their 'Independence Day.' Some children dress up in the traditional dresses of the days when the revolution was fought, (1812) and others, mostly classes of children from the schools, wear their formal school uniforms as they parade proudly down the main street of their local town or village. It is a lovely sight to behold! Don't miss it if you are visiting Greece on the 25th of March!

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    Kiss the Holy Icon

    by janetanne Updated Apr 3, 2005

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    The Church of Agios Andreas

    When a Feast Day arrives in Greece, the local women decorate the Holy Icon of that specific day being celebrated. (in this picture the day is March 25th, and the Icon is of Virgin Mary), In the Greek language, this day is called, 'Evangelismos Theotokou.' This is the day that in the Christian faith, the Angel Gabriel visited Mary and told her that she would bear the child called Christ. On this day, all people who have been baptised in the Greek Orthodox Church and who are named 'Evangelos and Evangelia' celebrate what is called "Their Name Day." It may be compared to what most Westerners would celebrate when it is their 'Birthday." In Greek tradition, it is much easier to 'remember' when a friend is celebrating and when you must call them to wish them 'A Good Year,' because all you have to do is look on the calender to see 'which Saint's Day' it is and you will know 'which Greek Names are celebrating! Easy???

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    Easter Day Celebration

    by janetanne Written Apr 23, 2009

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    Mother, Father, Daughter, sitting and relaxing
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    While the 'guys' (usually) are turning the lamb and the kokoretsi, the girls are doing what girls do...

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    Easter Day Celebration

    by janetanne Written Apr 23, 2009

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    Mother, Father, Daughter, sitting and relaxing
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    While the 'guys' (usually) are turning the lamb and the kokoretsi, the girls are doing what girls do...

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