Dave and Gerry's Alonissos Island Information Site
 

Corn Threshing July 2007

A couple of days before the weekend of the 6th and 7th of July signs were posted up in the Old Town and in Patitiri advertising a traditional shadow puppet show and a traditional threshing demonstration at the weekend.  A picture of the sign can be seen on the right with the upper part of the sign relating to the corn threshing.  This image is sensitive, so for a close up view of the sign simply click on the notice.  To see pictures of the event just click on the highlighted text.

The corn harvesting demonstration took place on Saturday evening at the threshing circles (Alonia) by the steps up Agios Yiannis church.  The event started around 7pm and ended about 9pm.  People were standing around the edge of the alonia where bales of straw were on the ground and they had a pony going around pulling a sled with a small child on top.  Straw was tossed in the air by the men to get rid of the chaff.  Quite a few children had a go on the sled which provided a weight to separate the corn from the chaff.

The Dimos (Council) provided free cups of tsipouro and water with snacks in the form of honey-covered balls of dough (loukoumathes) set on a table at the back of one of the threshing circles.  On the end of the table was a set of grinding wheels and people were encouraged to put corn down the hole in the middle of the wheel and grind it up.  To one side of the table a couple of women had set a fire between two large bricks and were bringing salted milk to the boil in a large pan.  Eventually they put the ground corn into the milk and handed round bowls of "Alonissos porridge".  Very bland, rather salty and unappetising but this is what they ate in days gone by and some people seemed to finish their bowl and enjoy it!!!

After the threshing demonstration had finished two musicians playing guitar and fiddle entertained the crowd followed by a group of seven young dancers who performed a set of traditional dances, which was very much appreciated by the large crowd.  A wonderful time was had by all.

 

Honey-covered Balls of Dough (Loukoumathes) Set on a Table
 

Hand Grinding Wheels
 

Bringing Salted Milk to the Boil to Make Trahanas
 

Musicians Playing Guitar and Fiddle
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