Dave and Gerry's Alonissos Island Information Site
 

Corn Threshing Demonstration July 2013

The signs for the demonstration of corn threshing went up shortly before the event in Patitiri and the Old Village and also one on a bale of straw right by the Alonia.  It was a lovely warm evening and the festival started slowly around 7pm as the straw was spread on the ground and the fire was lit to make the traditional Trahana (porridge).  Our dance group had been asked to perform on the night, so we left home around 7pm and had a slow walk up the steps to the main road.

The weeds that were on the Alonia earlier in the day had been strimmed but the surface was uneven with tufts of grass left between the cobble stones.  The ladies started to stir the large metal pot over a fire and looked very hot with the heat from the fire and the evening temperature.  The threshing demonstration started after the mule had been linked up to the threshing paddle while the table with food and drink was prepared with ouzo, water and loukoumathes (dough balls with honey).  Lots of people crowded around the table and when all had been served the centre of the Alonia was cleared for the dancing to start.

Both of Yorgos' Greek and non-Greek dance groups joined together for a first Syrtos dance to the music of Syrtos Aigaiou and then we all left and our dance group walked on to the centre of the Aloni.  We performed 4 dances and then Yorgos' Greek group performed 4 dances.  After these dances Baba Panos and his music partner started playing a Syrtos dance which we all danced to, along with some of the audience.  This Syrtos dance lasted over 10 minutes and we were all exhausted at the end of the dance.

When the Trahana was ready the ladies served portions of it to the audience, although none came our way.  We left to go up to Taverna Panselinos in the Old Village to continue the evening.  The following day we went to Taverna Panselinos in the Old Village and Yorgos had made a pie out of some of the Trahana left over from the previous day and that was delicious.

Photographs of the evening follow on from the text along with some very evokative black and white photos, sent to us by Nick Elliott, that are reminiscent of the prints you can buy in the shops of island life before the earthquake of 1965.

 

Sign for the Demonstration of Corn Threshing
 

Straw For The Corn Threshing Delivered Off
 

Crowd Assembling Before The Start Of The Event
Photo Courtesy of the Taverna Kastro Photo Club
 

Nektarios And Voula Introducing The Evening's Programme
 

Bringing Milk to the Boil to Make Trahanas
 

Mule Being Led Over The Straw On The Corn Circle
 

Children Having A Ride On The Mule In The Corn Circle
 

Start Of The Syrtos Dance With Both Greek Dance Groups Performing Together
Photo Courtesy of Nick And Pam
 

Start Of Our First Dance Zonarathikos
Photo Courtesy of the Taverna Kastro Photo Club
 

Our Dance Group In Action Performing Mermingas From The Island Of Kefalonia
Photo Courtesy of Nick And Liz Elliott
 

Greek Dance Group In Action Performing Pithiktos Rothou From The Island Of Rhodes
Photo Courtesy of Nick And Liz Elliott
 

Traditional Musicians Entertaining the Crowd After The End Of The Dancing
 

Bringing Milk to the Boil to Make Trahanas
Photo Courtesy of Nick And Liz Elliott
 

Mule Being Led Over The Straw On The Corn Circle
Photo Courtesy of Nick And Liz Elliott
 

Mule Being Led Over The Straw On The Corn Circle
Photo Courtesy of Nick And Liz Elliott
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