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Look to this Day !!!

Look to this day … yesterday is already a dream and tomorrow is only a vision…But today well lived , makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope…!!

Welcome On Board - Καλώς Ήρθατε !!!

Hello everyone and welcome to my BLOG... Here you can read all about my work experiences in Greece and USA, my Greek-American culture, customs and hobbies.You can check out dozens of related Internet links and glance at dozens of pictures and videos...and lots of fun staff too …!!!

Καλώς Ήρθατε στην σελίδα μου…ένα ανοικτό βιβλίο της ζωής μου. Θα μάθετε για την ειδικότητα μου στον τομέα της επείγουσας προνοσοκομειακής φροντίδας , στην Αμερική και Ελλάδα και θα ενημερωθείτε σχετικώς , διαβάζοντας άρθρα με φωτογραφίες και πολλά…πολλά βίντεο…!!!Θα ενημερωθείτε επίσης για τοπικά νέα , ήθη και έθιμα του Ελληνισμού της ξενιτιάς ,με πληροφορίες για ότι σχετικό. Απλώς ανοίξτε τις ανάλογες σελίδες.

Have a Safe tour everyone…Καλό υπόλοιπο σε όλους !!!

El Greco…the medic !!!

Keep on pumping…save a life !!!

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My Philosophy…on life !!!

I want to live my next life backwards! You start out dead and get that out of the way right off the bat. Then you wake up in a nursing home feeling better every day and then you get kicked out of the home for being too healthy.

You spend several years enjoying your retirement and collecting benefit checks. Then when you start work, you get a gold watch on your first day. You work 40 years or so, getting younger every day until pretty soon you’re too young to work. So you go to high school: play sports, date, drink, and party.

As you get even younger, you become a kid again.You go to elementary school, you play, and have no responsibilities. In a few years you become a baby and everyone runs themselves ragged keeping you happy.You spend your last 9 months floating peacefully in luxury spa-like conditions: central heating, room service on tap…and start all over again…!!!

Greek Customs and Holidays

Happy Greek Independence Day – March 25th 1821

Following the fall of the Byzantine Empire to the Ottoman Empire, most ofGreece came under Ottoman rule. During this time, there were numerous revolts by Greeks attempting to gain independence. In 1814, a secret organization called the Filiki Eteria was founded with the aim of liberating Greece. The Filiki Eteria planned to launch revolts in the Peloponnese, theDanubian Principalities and Constantinople. The first of these revolts began on 6 March 1821 in the Danubian Principalities, but it was soon put down by the Ottomans. The events in the north urged the Greeks in the Peloponnese in action and on 17 March 1821 the Maniots declared war on the Ottomans. By the end of the month, the Peloponnese was in open revolt against the Turks and by October 1821 the Greeks under Theodoros Kolokotronis had captured Tripolitsa. The Peloponnesian revolt was quickly followed by revolts in CreteMacedonia and Central Greece, which would soon be suppressed.

On March 25, 1821 the bishop Germanos of Patras raised the Greek flag at the Monastery of Agia Lavra in Peloponnese and one more revolution started against the Turks. The people of Greece shouted “Freedom or Death” .

The Greek War of Independence (1821–1829), also commonly known as the Greek Revolution (Greek: Ελληνική Επανάσταση Elliniki Epanastasi; Ottoman Turkish: يؤنان ئسياني Yunan İsyanı), was a successful war waged by the Greeks to win independence for Greece from the Ottoman Empire. After a long and bloody struggle, and with the aid of the Great Powers, independence was finally granted by the Treaty of Constantinople in July 1832. The Greeks were thus the first of the Ottoman Empire’s subject peoples to secure recognition as an independent sovereign power. 

The anniversary of Independence Day (25 March 1821) is a National Day in Greece and is celebrated with a military parade in the center of Athens .

But , it is also celebrated all over the Greek Community across the world as well,with similar parades like this one from New York City :

Check out this link from Montreal, Canada 

The anniversary of Independence Day - 25 March 1821 - falls also on the same day as the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary.

Happy Greek Independance Day …!!!!

Clean Monday, 1st day of Lent in Greek Orthodox Church

Clean Monday (Greek: Καθαρή Δευτέρα), also known as Pure Monday,Ash MondayMonday of Lent or Green Monday, is the first day of theEastern Orthodox Christian and Eastern Catholic Great Lent. It is amovable feast that occurs at the beginning of the 7th week before Orthodox Easter Sunday.

The common term for this day, “Clean Monday”, refers to the leaving behind of sinful attitudes and non-fasting foods. It is sometimes called “Ash Monday,” by analogy with Ash Wednesday (the day when the Western Churches begin Lent).
The faithful begin Lent with a clean conscience, with forgiveness, and with renewed Christian love. The entire first week of Great Lent is often referred to as “Clean Week,” and it is customary to go toConfession during this week, and to clean the house thoroughly.
Clean Monday is a public holiday in Greece and Cyprus, where it is celebrated with outdoor excursions, the consumption of shellfish and other fasting food, like  Halvas… made from Sesame seeds and honey….

… and  a special kind of azyme bread, “lagana” (Greek: λαγάνα,  lah-GHAH-nah )…this bread sees the light of day once a year…it was originally an unleavened bread but, over the years, a little yeast has crept into the recipes. It’s most often shaped like a rectangle with rounded corners, and is a fairly flat loaf.

Eating meat, eggs and dairy products is traditionally forbidden to Christians throughout Lent, with fish being eaten only on major feast days, but shellfish is permitted. This has created the tradition of eating elaborate dishes based on seafood like shellfish, mollusks, fish roe etc.

On Clean Monday the widespread custom of flying kites is very common, so enjoy the day eating all these delicacies and be my guest …go and fly a kite by the Acropolis !!!

Easter in Greece

If you’re lucky enough to travel in Greece during the Greek Orthodox Easter weekend, you’ll have an opportunity to experience all of the rich pageantry and deep religious devotion expressed by the Greeks at Easter time.
Easter (Greek: Πάσχα Paskha, from Hebrew: פֶּסַח Pesakh,) is the most important annual religious feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to Christian scripture, Jesus was resurrected from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. Some Christians celebrate this resurrection on Easter Day or Easter Sunday (also Resurrection Day or Resurrection Sunday), two days after Good Friday and three days after Maundy Thursday. The chronology of his death and resurrection is variously interpreted to be between AD 26 and AD 36.
Easter also refers to the season of the church year called Eastertide or the Easter Season. Traditionally the Easter Season lasted for the forty days from Easter Day until Ascension Day but now officially lasts for the fifty days until Pentecost. The first week of the Easter Season is known as Easter Week or the Octave of Easter. Easter also marks the end of Lent, a season of fasting, prayer, and penance.

 Easter is a moveable feast, meaning it is not fixed in relation to the civil calendar. The First Council of Nicaea (325) established the date of Easter as the first Sunday after the full moon (the Paschal Full Moon) following the vernal equinox. Ecclesiastically, the equinox is reckoned to be on March 21 (regardless of the astronomically correct date), and the “Full Moon” is not necessarily the astronomically correct date. The date of Easter therefore varies between March 22 and April 25. Eastern Christianity bases its calculations on the Julian Calendar whose March 21 corresponds, during the twenty-first century, to April 3 in the Gregorian Calendar, in which calendar their celebration of Easter therefore varies between April 4 and May 8.

Every few years, “Western” (Catholic and Protestant) Easter and Greek Orthodox Easter coincide; these years are indicated by (same) following the date. Want to celebrate two Easters in Greece rather than just one? Choose accordingly… !!!

“How is Greek Easter calculated?
The day is governed by these three main conditions:
  • It must be based on the Julian calendar, not the Gregorian one;
  • It must be after the Jewish holiday of Passover;
  • It must be on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox, which for this purpose is fixed as March 21st.
  • Here are some Easter Dates:
  • 2010 – Easter Sunday – April 4th (same)
  • 2011 – Easter Sunday – April 24th (same)
  • 2012 – Easter Sunday – April 15th
  • 2013 – Easter Sunday – May 5th…and so on !!!

Many of the traditions that bond the generations together occur during the Easter feast. Easter is the most sacred and celebrated of all of the Greek holidays. It begins with a 40-day fast, of the 40 days, one week is chosen for the complete fast, during that time only natural foods are eaten. No meats, dairy, fish, poultry or dishes that are prepared with these foods can be eaten. Shellfish can be eaten, however three days a week are meatless days during the remaining weeks of the fast.

During Holy Week complete fasting is to take place. Palm Sunday, which is the first day of the Holy Week, is a day when only fish and fish courses are served Palm Sunday marks the start of the Easter Celebrations all over Greece, but famous for its philharmonic orchestras if the island of Corfu which march in the narrow streets of the old city followed by the litany that begins from the church of Saint Spiridon.

The ' Hymn of Kassiani ' is sung late in the evening on, ' Holly Tuesday ', in the Greek Orthodox Churches ...a hymn is about a myrrh bearer , a ' woman fallen in many sins ' as she is described in the Holy scriptures who was weeping by the burial tomb and saying ' woe to me '...St Kassiani was , a Byzantine hymnographer...her hymn is slow, sorrowful and plaintive , lasting up to twenty minutes...favorite among prostitutes who are known visit the church only during holy week... here is part of it...

On the afternoon or evening of Great and Holy Wednesday, the Sacrament or Mystery of Holy Unction is conducted in Orthodox parishes. The Sacrament of Holy Unction is offered for the healing of soul and body and for forgiveness of sins. At the conclusion of the service of the Sacrament, the body is anointed with oil, and the grace of God, which heals infirmities of soul and body, is called down upon each person. Great and Holy Wednesday is sometimes known as "Spy Wednesday",as a reference to the betrayal of Jesus by Judas Iscariot.

On ' Holy Thursday '... He who suspended the earth in the waters is Hung on a cross...We worship Your Passion, O Christ... Show us also Your glorious Resurrection...this byzantine hymn is sung during the Holy mass.

On ' Good Friday ' all over Greece and the Eastern Orthodoxy,this Hymn is is orchestrated by Vangelis Papathanasiou and performed by actress Irene Pappas...

On Saturday before Easter, the food that will be served on Easter Sunday is taken to the church and blessed by the priest.The red eggs for just after the Resurrection and the traditional Resurrection soup, “mageritsa,” will be the wife’s first concern, and her preparations will begin early in the Holy Week.That preparation means the cleaning and decoration of the house, the baking of the Easter biscuits and bread and the dyeing of the eggs.

Here are some pictures from the festivities :

The celebration of Greek Orthodox Easter is filled with rich and colorful Easter traditions, including the decorating of the epitaphios, building bonfires, shooting off fireworks at midnight, and enjoying a feast of lamb , or the traditional Greek Easter Bread, known as Tsoureki .

If you get a chance to celebrate Easter in Greece, do not pass it up; it will mean song, dance and “Kefi”-fun times, around the fire pit as the spit slowly revolves cooking the lamb.

Easter on the small Greek island of Chios means one thing - a massive firework battle, with over 50,000 rockets raining down on two small towns.Check out this video :

Happy Easter to all…

Χρόνια Πολλά …Καλό Πάσχα ….!!!!

The Feast of the Assumption o f the Mother of God

According to the belief of Christians of the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Catholic ChurchesEastern OrthodoxyOriental Orthodoxy, and parts of the Anglican Communion and Continuing Anglicanism, the Assumption of Mary was the bodily taking up of the Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her life. In the churches which observe it, the Assumption is a major feast day, commonly celebrated on August 15.
The feast of the Assumption on August 15 is a public holiday in many countries, including Austria, Belgium, Chile, Ecuador, France, Greece, Lebanon, Italy, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Senegal and Spain .

In Greece , the celebrations start with a pilgrimage of thousands at the well known island of Tinos...Tinos (GreekΤήνοςItalianTine) is situated in the Aegean Sea , part of the Cyclades archipelago.Tinos is famous amongst Greeks for: the Church of Panagia Evangelistria, and its reputedly miraculous icon of Virgin Mary that it holds.

Greece , a land of faith and unexplained phenomenon occurs on the island of Kefalonia , every year on August 15 th ( and today as well ) , during this national holiday-the Dormition of the Mother of God ...SNAKES enter the church from the woods ...they are totally harmless ...a miracle? Look at this video ...and believe !!!

Unfortunately , back in 1940, the Greek Navy Cruiser ' Elli ', was sunk during peacetime, while she rode at anchor, by the Italian submarine Delfino near this island... ' Elli ' was in Tinos participating in the celebrations of the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos.