April 2007 Newsletter - Easter Issue
 This Month 
Watch Your Manners in Greece: At the Aghion Oros (Mount Athos) Special Feature : Easter Eggs
What's New!!!! Featured Destination: Thasos 
Saint Namedays in April April's Recipe
Suggestions & Comments Subscription Information
April's Recipe:
Mayiritsa (Greek Easter soup)


 
 
Greek Easter soup, mayiritsa, is eaten in the early hours of Sunday morning following the midnight Easter service. It is too late for a celebratory feast like Easter lamb, but a good time for making use of what is left over after the lamb has been butchered and gutted. Serving easily digestible soup is also a good way of accustoming the stomach to more substantial food after weeks of going without meat.
 
Ingredients:
- 1 lb/500 g lamb’s liver
- 1/2 lb/250 g onions, sliced into rings
- 1/2 bunch dill, finely chopped
- 1 1/4 cups/250 g rice
- 2 eggs
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1 tbsp butter
- Salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
 
Preparation:

Wash the liver thoroughly and place in a saucepan filled with salted water. Boil the liver over a high heat until it is half cooked. Remove it from the liquid and cut up into small pieces. Strain the stock through a strainer into a large saucepan. Add the onions and dill and bring the liquid to a boil. Stir in first the rice, then the liver. Melt the tablespoon of butter in the soup and continue to simmer until the rice and liver are cooked, then remove the pan from the heat. Lightly beat eggs in a small bowl and add the lemon juice, stirring continuously. Spoon a few tablespoons of soup into the egg mixture and continue beating until the egg and lemon sauce is frothy. Pour this briskly into the hot soup, making sure that it does not boil or else the eggs will curdle. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Serve hot with freshly baked white bread.
 
Excerpts from: "Culinaria Greece" by Marianthi Milona

Are you missing some pices and incredients for your recipe?

 
Watch Your Manners In Greece
At the Aghion Oros (Mount Athos) Part 1

Continued from February's Issue...
 

- Visiting “Aghion Oros” or Mount Athous (the largest monastery in Northern Greece) requires a certain amount of time for preparation. The visitor must apply well in advance to the offices of Aghion Oros (Grafeio Proskiniton, Leof. Karamanli 13, Thessaloniki 54638, tel: 2310 833733) for a permit of residence (diamonitirion). The visitor must submit his personal details and must state the length of stay. The permits are collected from Thessaloniki or Ouranoupolis. The boarding ports are Ouranoupolis, Ierios and Nea Roda.

- It is universally known that women are not allowed to enter the premises of Aghion Oros. Entry is punished with a two-year imprisonment.

- Clothing must be decent, meaning no shorts or short-sleeved shirts.

- Swimming, sunbathing, gambling (playing cards or backgammon etc), dancing, singing and pets all are strictly forbidden.

- Even though many monasteries have, in recent years, started using Jeeps, the appropriate and traditional means of transportation is on foot. It is advisable to wear sturdy trekking shoes. The visitor is also advised to carry light luggage with him so that he may freely and easily move from one place to another.

- Taking pictures is allowed in most of the monasteries. However, it is advisable on arrival to ask the “old man” (gerodas) for such permission. He will give further details about which areas one is allowed to photograph.

- It is advisable to have a walking stick or staff to bring with you on walks. This can either be purchased at Mount Athos or brought along with you. Snakes abound.

- The Aghion Oros is a self-governed monastic town, which is politically under the authority of the Greek State, and spiritually under the Ecumenical Patriarchy of Constantinople. It consists of twenty monasteries, which follow communal rules. The head of each convent is the abbot, who keeps his position on a lifelong basis.

- The pilgrims’ hospitality is fairly well organized. The convents offer tidy guestrooms with communal toilets and, usually warm water. However, because Mt Athos attracts a great number of visitors, it is important to call in advance and ask if there are vacancies available.

...to be continued


Excerpt from "Watch Your Manners In Greece" by Christos K. Zampounis

 
Special Feature: Easter Eggs

Various explanations exist as to why Greek Easter eggs are always colored red: some people say that the red is a symbol of the blood shed in the Holy Land on Good Friday, others say that it reflects joy at Christ’s resurrection. Then again, some people claim that long ago a skeptical women scoffed that she would not believe in the Resurrection until the eggs she was holding in her hands turned red in front of her eyes – which did indeed happen. In other words, their red color should be seen as an admonishment to have faith.

You need a light touch for the traditional egg bashing ritual, as well as a good bit of luck – not to mention eggs from well fed hens. Only someone with an egg whose shell remains intact is in line for any good luck. This custom, which is said to stem from the 13th century, has been preserved as a bit of Easter fun. Hence, you will find that everyone in church on Easter Saturday evening will have a red egg in his pocket. The eggs may not be eaten during Lent. They are only brought out, therefore, after the priest has ceremoniously opened the Easter celebrations with the words “Christ is risen” whereupon everyone wishes each other a happy Easter and starts banging their eggs together.
 

Excerpts from: "Culinaria Greece" by Marianthi Minola


Ideas for your Easter Fasting
The Lenten Collection A Cookbook

The Lenten Collection A Cookbook
The Greek Vegetarian  by Diane Kochilas - Softcover

The Greek Vegetarian by Diane Kochilas - Softcover
 
Nostimo Nistisimon, A Greek cookbook for Lent, In Greek

Nostimo Nistisimon, A Greek cookbook for Lent, In Greek
Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes with Rice

Stuffed Peppers
and Tomatoes with Rice
Spinach with Rice

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Greek Macedonian Halva with Honey

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Greek Dessert Makedonikos Halva Pistachio

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Ekso Ntertia 18 classic hits

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Aroma Polis (Constantinople
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Love Radio 97.5 2007 -  Love ballads

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Ta Patriotika mas, The National Anthem and other Greek patriotic songs
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Buddha Bar VII - 2 CDs

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Greece Mediterranean Cuisine Hardcover
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Nostimo Nistisimon, A Greek cookbook for Lent, In Greek

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Inside Hitler

Inside Hitler's Greece, In English
After the War was over, In English

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Smyrna 1922, The destruction of a City. In English

Smyrna 1922, The destruction of a City. In English
Greek Coffee Reading guide, In Greek

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A dog called Leka by Willard Manus

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Illumimati (Angels and Demons) by Dan Brown, In Greek

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Greek Easter Traditions, In Greek

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Ama vapseis ton Lago Kokino san to Avgo, In Greek

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Theatrikes Sholikes Parastaseis, School Plays in Greek

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Spongebob - Bob Sfouggarakis : Peripeties ston Vitho, In Greek

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Spongebob - Bob Sfouggarakis: Min Aggizete, In Greek

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Beijing 2008 Nini Badminton Olympic Sports Pin
         
         
 

  Featured Destination: Thasos


GEOGRAPHY.
Very close to Kavala, Thasos is one of the most popular tourist islands in Greece. Its lovely, green landscape, clean sea, outstanding beaches and many places of interest attract a host of visitors. Even so, there there are still parts of it unspoilt by the throng where those who wish can enjoy the peaceful countryside. Thasos is 379 sq. km. in area, has 95 km. of coastline, lies 16 nautical miles southeast of Kavala and is 3 nautical miles from Keramoti. The population in 13 111. There are daily car and passenger ferries from Kavala to both Limenas and Prinos, as well as frequent connections between Keramoti and Limenas.

The mountainous terrain (highest peak Psario, 1127 m. a.s.l.) not only influences its natural vegetation but also the morphology of its coastline, which is gentle on the west and north side, on its east shore there are sandy beaches with trees growing down to the water’s edge, while in the south there are precipitous cliffs and tiny coves.

The island is surrounded by several tiny islets, particularly near its four major bays, Limenas, Potamia, Koinyra and Potos. In the north is Thasopoula, to the east Krambousa and the islet of Koinyra and, in the south, that of Panaghia. This island’s fifteen or so hamlets and villages, new and old, are located between the mountains and the coast and most of the more recent settlements have grown up around the anchorages of the old.

HISTORY
Finds from excavations demonstrate that Thasos was inhabited in prehistoric times (3500-2600 BC). In antiquity it was known as Odonis or Idonis and was apparently settled by Thracian tribes initially. The Phoenicians arrived later and, at the beginning of the 7th century BC, colonizers came from Paros. After an arduous struggle they eventually expelled the Thracians and were thus able to exploit the island’s rich mineral resources (gold, marble) unhindered, soon extending their influence to the littoral of the mainland. By the 6th century BC Thasos was at its zenith – economic and cultural – and in about 525 BC it minted its own silver coin which enjoyed a wide circulation up until the end of the Persian Wars. It was at this time that the city was fortified and the island’s system of defensive towers organized, traces of which still survive. During the 5th century BC Thasos lost its independent status, being subject in succession to the Persians, Athenians and Spartans. In 477 BC it became a member of the Athenian Leauge and in around 340 BC belonged to the Macedonians. It was conquered by the Romans in 168 BC. Pirates were a constant menace throughout the Byzantine era and in 1204 Thasos was captured by the Franks who held it until 1259, when it was retaken by the Byzantines. This was a troubled phase in its history with countless incursions by pirates and alien occupations, the last one by the Gatelouzoi, to whom it was ceded in 1416. The Turkish conquest (1457) signaled a period of decline and between 1770-1774 there was a brief period of Russian domination. Thasos played an active role in the 1821 Struggle for Independence though was not liberated until 1912 and incorporated in the Greek state the following year.

SIGHTS-MONUMENTS
Thasos (Limenas), the island’s capital, is built on the same site as the ancient city founded by Parian colonizers in the 7th century BC. Excavations conducted by the French Archaeological School have revealed several buildings, many of which are quite well-preserved. The Dionysion (Archaic period) was located overlooking the present harbour, which served as a naval station in ancient times, while above the commercial harbour stood the sanctuary of Poseidon (Posideion). The sea wall with its two gates is still preserved, as well as the ancient theatre, near one of the gates. Originally built in the 5th century BC, it acquired its present aspect in Roman times. Remnants of one of the quarters (North Quarter), inhabited withouth interruption from the 8th – 3rd century BC, are preserved, while on the promontory of Evraiokastro there are traces of an Archaic sanctuary (6th century BC). An Early Christian basilica was evidently constructed on the same site (6th century). On the eminence occupied by the ancient acropolis, southeast of the theatre, is the medieval citadel which was repaired and altered by the Byzantines, Venetians and Genoese in turn. At the base of the hill is the best-preserved section of the hill is the best-preserved section of the fortification wall with bastions and gateways: Silenus Gate, Herakles and Dionysos Gate, Zeuz and Hera Gate and, a short distance away, the sanctuary of Herakles, Caracalla’s Arch – to the north – (3rd century AD) and the Roman odium. The ancient agora, focus of city life, extended from the navel harbour to the foot of the acropolis and was surrounded by sanctuaries. West of the main square of the agora are the remains of a 6th century Early Christian basilica. Finds from these excavations, representative of all forms of ancient Greek art and dating from the Archaic period (7th century BC) up until the 4th century AD, are exhibited in the Archaeological Museum at Limenas. The town is a convenient departure point for trips to the rest of the island, since the metalled road circumventing it commences here. On the east side is the village of Panaghia (7 km. from Limenas). Its port, Skala Panaghias (Chrysi Ammos) is one of the beauty spots of Thasos. 2 km. south of Panaghia is the village of Potamia with its church of St. Demetrius (1845). At Skala Potamias (its port), site of the ancient city of Ainyra, there is a shipwright’s yard belonging to a monastery (1892), the chapel of St. Nicholas and, on the islet of Krambousa at the entrance to the bay, a defensive tower. At Palaiochori (11 km.) south of Potamia, galleries of an ancient gold mine are preserved. The region of Koinyra, extending southwards, has a richly wooded coastline. In ancient times there was a flourishing settlement here which survived into the Byzantine era. Remnants of Byzantine baths have been located at Loutra, as well as the remains of an Early Christian basilica. Beyond Loutra are the villages of the south side of the island. At Alyki there are vestiges of an ancient sanctuary (two temples and two cult caves( and two Early Christian basilicae built on the site of the Roman cemetery, attesting the continuos occupation of the area from the arrival of the Parian colonists until Postbyzantine times. There was and important quarry here, in use from the 6th century BC till the 6th century AD. Just beyond Alyki is Thymonia, where there are ruins of a Byzantine basilica and two Hellenistic towers. Perched atop the sheer cliffs which plunge into the sea is the monastery of the Archangel Michael, pastron saint of the island. At Astris there are remains of ancient towers and a 4th century BC potter’s workshop. The loverly cove of Psili Ammos, close at hand, as well as the beaches in the bays of Potos and Limenaria.

Theologos (55 km. southwest of Limenas) is also one of the prettiest villages on Thasos with its old houses, ruined medieval tower and Postbyzantine churches (St. Demetrius, with its intricately caved wooden iconostastis, St. Paraskevi), Macedonian-style houses and the now-ruined mansion of the member of the Philiki Etaireia, Chatziyorgis.

In the nowadays abandoned village of Kastro, the oldest on the island, there are traces of the Byzantine fortress, churches and mansions. A short distance away is Limenaria, one of the seaside tourist villages, and the headland of Kefala which divides the west from the north side of the island, which is tranquil and verdant. The harbours (Skales) of the mountain villages of Kallirachi, Maries, Sotiras are here. Further north (20 km. southwest of Limensas) is (Neos) Prinos which has recently gained fame due to the discovery of underwater oil sources in the vicinity. It is the port of the typical mountain villages of Mikros and Megalos Prinos.

The shores of Thasos are particularly lovely, with the pine trees growing down to the water’s edge, and crystal clear sea is ideal for swimming and fishing: Limenas, Chrysi Ammoudia, Chrysi Akti, Alyki, Arsanas and Livadi, Psili Ammos, Patos, Limenaria and Prinos. All beaches can be reached by public transport or private car and those with a boat may also visit the nearby islands. Refueling stations at Limenas and Potos. One can even enjoy mountaineering and hunting in the island’s interior. Thasos has more then adequate facilities for tourists, including hotels, pensions and rooms to let.
 

 

 Travel Guides and Information for your trip in the area


Going to Live and Work in Greece

Going to Live and Work in Greece
2005 edition

Let

Let's Go Greece 2005 edition - 20% off

Greece Road Map Set - 10 maps

Greece Road Map Set - 10 maps

Greece - A Guide to the Archaeological Sites - Travel Guide

Greece - A Guide to the
Archaeological Sites - Travel Guide

Cruise Greece DVD

Cruise Greece DVD

 Saints' Namedays in April

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
   
 
   
 
1
Palm Sunday

 
2
Holy Monday
3
Holy Tuesday

 

4
Holy Wednesday
5
Holy Thursday
6
Holy Friday

7
Holy Saturday
 

8
Great and Holy Pashca
 
9
Martyr Eupsychios

Vadin the Righteous of Persia
10
Martyrs Terence & Companions

Hieromartyr Gregory V of Constantinople
11
Martyr Antipas

Pharmuthios the Anchorite
 
12
Basil the Confessor

Mother Anthousa
13
Martin the Confessor
 
14
Aristarchos, Pudens, & Trophimos of the 70

Thomais the Martyr of Alexandria
 
15
Thomas Sunday

Martyr Crescens

Hieromartyr Leonidas
16
Virgin Martyrs Agape, Chionia, & Irene
17
Hieromartyr Symeon

Makarios, Abp. of Corinth
18
John the Righteous

Euthemios the Enlightener of Karelia
19
Martyr Paphnutios

George the Confessor
20
Theodore Trichinas

Apostle Zachaias
21
Hieromartyr Ianouarios

Maximian of Constantinople
22
Holy Myrrhbearers Sunday


Theodore of Sykeote

Holy Apostle Nathaniel
 
23
Great Martyr George
24
Elizabeth the Wonderworker

Savvas the General of Rome

 

25
Apostle and Evangelist Mark

New Martyr Emmanuel and Companions
26
Hieromartyr Basil of Amaseia

Glaphyra the Righteous
 
27
Hieromartyr Symeon

Eulogios the Innkeeper
 
28
9 Martyrs of Cyzikos

Theocharus and Apostolus
 
29
Sunday of the Paralytic


Jason & Sosipater of the 70

Martyr Cercyra
 
30
Apostle James

New Martyr Agyre
 


 
 


Icons depicting the celebrated Saint, make great gifts for namedays.
Shop among our great collection of icons at our store. Also available, namedays, birthday, holiday, and special occasion greeting cards.

Gold and Silver Icons Hand Painted Icons Icons by Zafiris
Gold and Silver Icons
 
Hand painted Icons
 
Icons by Zafiris
 
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