Dave and Gerry's Alonissos Island Information Site
 

Traditional Weekend 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 bottom part of the sign relating to the puppet show.  This image is sensitive, so for a close up view of the sign simply click on the notice.

The traditional shadow puppet show was held on Friday evening at Plateia Kopria which is the area around the viewing platform and the war memorial at the edge of the Upper Old Town.  Plastic chairs had been put out and many children were there with their parents as well as many older Greeks who seemed to enjoy the show as much as the kids.  The shadow puppet show is named after the main character "Karagiozis" who the English would associate with Mr. Punch in the Punch and Judy shows.  There are a number of puppet characters used depending on the story being told.

After the show the puppeteer came out with a couple of his shadow puppets and encouraged a young girl and boy to hold them and perform a little show in front of the light box along with the funny voices of the characters.  When the show was over the puppeteer was selling puppets for 4 euro each so we now have our own Karagiozis in the house.  Use the name link to see what he looks like.  He is made of thick plastic, about 36 cm high and all his body parts articulate.
 
The traditional harvesting demonstration took place on Saturday evening at the threshing circles (Alonia) by the steps up to the church of Agios Yiannis.  To see pictures of the event click on the highlighted text.  They started organising around 7pm and finished at around 9pm.  People stood around the edge of the threshing circles where they had put bales of straw on the ground and had a pony going around pulling a sled with a small child on top.  Men were tossing to straw in the air to get rid of the chaff.  The Dimos (Council) kindly provided free drinks and snacks in the form of cups of Tsipouro and mineral water with 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.


Pony Going Around Pulling a Sled

Table at the Back of One of the Threshing Circles

A Set of Grinding Wheels

Bringing Salted Milk to the Boil in a Large Pan

Two Musicians Playing Guitar and Fiddle
 
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