Ooooo, I love a party! I’m especially excited about this one as it’s my first New Year blog party and everyone’s invited.
You are welcome to share greetings in the comment section, introduce your blog with a link, especially if it’s to a post about New Year. I’d love you to share your resolutions and/or tell us about New Year customs you enjoy. Please feel free to invite other people, reblog or Tweet, and all participants will love it if you pop back to read new posts and follow some of the links.
I’ll start by introducing Kostas who is offering you traditional cake and a tot of raki, the potent spirit he makes with the debris leftover once wine making is complete. Chink glasses with the person next to you and wish them ‘Yammas!’ Good health.
In Greece there are carols for Christmas, New Year and Epiphany which is Twelfth Night. This YouTube clip depicts children visiting different homes on New Year’s Eve hoping for coins or sweet treats to share. Note the lad dressed in white, he is representing Agios Vasilis, Saint Basil who delivers gifts to all good children if they are asleep before midnight.
Every party needs food and as Greeks have delicious dishes for every occasion I’m calling in the experts. Click on the foodie photos and I’ll whiz you over to the right place to find more details.
I’ll not disturb the groups playing cards though, it is serious business in Crete on New Year’s Eve. The fireworks at midnight will make them pause for a while then they will play until the early hours.
The most eagerly awaited cake of the festive season is Vasilopita, named after Agios Vasilis, Saint Basil. There are almost as many different recipes as they are cooks! This one is by Krystina at Kouzounas Kitchen.
This photo takes you to the recipe by Eugenia over at Eat Yourself Greek.
Whatever the recipe, the cake is cut by the head of the family and one lucky person finds a coin in their slice to bring good luck.
What about New Year resolutions?
The prize for the best kept and most interesting resolution 2015, must go to Lena who challenged herself to try something new everyday of the year. Perhaps she’ll be pleased for it to end, but I’ve enjoyed her blog, click here.
My resolution is to write an Amazon review of any book I enjoy in 2016, as I’ve now discovered just how much of a boost it gives to an author. These are some of the books set in Greece that I’ve enjoyed this year, or in the case of Yannis, enjoyed again! Click on the covers to zoom over to Amazon. (BTW, I don’t earn from these links as I don’t have the right sort of website.)
I’d like you to meet my special guests, good virtual friends that I’ve come to appreciate in a way I never imagined when I decided to broaden my blogging scope. The first person I’ll take a (non alcoholic) drink to is Matt, The Book Blogger to thank him for setting a weekly one hundred work fiction challenge. I’ll need a full tray of drinks for the regular participants who use Matt’s musical prompts to create their weekly contributions. Thanks to all of you for your feedback .
Let’s use the latest challenge from Matt as an example. This is the music clip we must use as the basis of this week’s piece:
As my blog is Greek based I give myself the extra challenge of linking my fiction to a Greek theme and, whenever possible I add a photo. Here goes:
One Day Like This
First rays of morning sun peeked over the mountains. He was late.
He hefted an exquisite woven rucksack over his shoulder and sighed in exhaustion as he glimpsed the steep cobbled street. Perhaps it wasn’t worth the effort, each doorstep was empty.
He’d just decided to disappear when he spied a child’s scuffed clogs.
A mesmerised cat watched him tuck a coin, carved whistle, and rag doll inside the clogs.
Startled by noise inside the house he grinned as the sunbeam stepladder unfurled. Climbing up, Saint Basil winked at the cat and said, ‘It’s looking like a beautiful day’.
One flash fiction regular, Ritu posts on a wide range of topics and makes me feel exhausted just reading about her hectic life. I’ll take her a Raki mixed with honey to keep her going. Can you hear laughter? It’s Edwina, she always sees the funny side of life.
Here’s a special group of friend who call Greece home. There’s Susan whose fab blog declares she’s now Greeker Than The Greeks, Amanda who has brought along Olive, Feta & Ouzo, John and Sheila who live in a village across the bay from us and write about their experiences, Staying on in Crete and photographer pelly*made. I’m sorry I can’t list all the Greek based blogs I enjoy, there are so many and I need room to talk about…
New Year’s Day in Kritsa
Members of the cultural association go around the village on New Year’s Day, singing special carols and distributing the village calendar. (I hope someone gets one for me!) If you watch this clip from a few year’s ago you will see householders are very pleased to get a visit and offer donations, chocolates, and tots of raki. The most frequently used greeting is ‘Chronia Polla’ meaning Many Year’s.
If you’d like to read more about traditional life in Kritsa click here.
I’m just about to go around with another tray of drinks so please mingle and get to know each other.
Happy New Year, 2016. Chronia Polla!!