Saturday 25 June 2011

Klidona - Greek Midsummer!

Read in Swedish: Klidona - grekisk Midsommarafton!

Here in Greece there is an old tradition celebrated the 23rd of June (the day before the birth of John the Baptist) after the sunset, sometimes also the 24th of June. This custom is called "Κλήδονα" ("Klídona") and is not that common in these days. Still it is celebrated in some places.

Live music and dance at the square! Young unmarried girls and women are drinking "silent" spring water - during the night they are not supposed to talk! Every girl, who wants to take part,  put a small precious, personal thing in a ceramic pot, which sometimes is sealed with a small red cloth.

Hopefully they will now dream about their future husband...  (At Midsummer in Sweden the girls are picking 9 different flowers and put them under the pillow to have the same dream!)

A small fire is made at the square with the dried floral wreaths from the 1st of May-celebration, the ones that has been hanging on doors and balconys since then.

Here in Greece everyone who has the courage jumps over the fire! In old times they thought that they got rid of fleas and lice this way! 
I have also heard that unmarried will see the face of their future husband/wife appearing in the flames...

Here "The song of Klidona" with a slide-show of beautiful pictures from the island of Kimolos:

A short video from the celebration in Kaisariani, Athens:

"Klidonas" is celebrated in these places (probably in many more, but these are the ones I was able to find on the web):

Mytilini, Samos (you tube)
Apollona, Naxos (30-31 of May) (the two pictures with the fire in my post is from here)
Rethymnon, Kreta (you tube)
Milatos, Kreta (the two pictures at the top of my post)
More to read about the old tradition "Klidona" (in Greek...).
We have been to the Klidona celebration in Kaisariani.


The Parianos AKA Ruby said...

Hello Eva,I enjoyed your blog today. I tried to reply to your comments on mine but reply email show as no-reply@... so I guess you wouldn't get them so I've added a comment under your on The Parianos. Thanks for adding my blog to your list.
The Parianos - AKA Ruby

eva i Aten said...

Thanks a lot, Ruby!