Tuesday, June 23, 2009

After the storm

As for today's cleanup of last nights' damage... it wasn't so bad. Fingers crossed a quiet night tonight, as for sure tomorrow is a day filled with little grey clouds and zig-zag bolts on the weather pictures.

I suppose I should also mention that this is June. Corfu NEVER has thunderstorms in June. Very odd, this weather.

Today, Tuesday, June 23, is the village of Agios Ioannis "feast day". It's actually Wednesday the 24th but so many people come to enjoy the party, they just decided to add an extra day of party time.

The village has the celebration in the main square. A few hundred chairs and long tressle tables are set up - under the trees and all around the square. Everyone sits wherever they can find a spot and saves a place for the brave soul who goes in search of some refreshments. That way the victor can sit down too when he returns from his queue battles with libations and feast. (hint: Greeks don't queue.)

There's an interesting custom that is only done in this village (or was... it's caught on as a tourist attraction which means other villages want to draw bigger crowds so they're giving a whirl too!)

The village elders wait until it gets dark, then they light a fire in the center of the square (piles of loose straw) and the young people jump over the fire. Well at first, but then everyone gets into the act, and even little children and old grandmas jump the fire.

There are lambs roasted on spits, and the scent of the grilling meat and rosemary is an overwhelming memory tag. There's plenty of other food to eat, grilled chickens, as well as spinach and cheese pies. Lots of wine is poured as well. You can't help feeling like you're in a movie sometimes!

There's always music, usually a band with brass and drums and then the bouzouki player starts and the village girls and boys (teenagers- really!) dance the traditional dances and eventually all the older folks join in. It's really lovely. (but can be terribly confusing and create much banging into strangers when attempted by the inexperienced!)

Anyway, it looks like rain tomorrow evening. Boo. Hiss. Perhaps St John will hold off the weather for his feast day...

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