I MOVED !!!!!!


Hello friends I have moved to a new prettier and more fun address:


                        
                    
                                          

St. Patrick's Day!



HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY

     Well, Happy St. Patrick's Day indeed to all of you around the globe who celebrate it! 

     No, we do not celebrate it in Greece, we don't have a St. Patrick-it is a catholic holiday- but I happen to know all about St. Patrick's day due to the fact that I spent about ten years in the USA as a student and working. I remember wearing green clothes and eating green candy and of course drinking plenty of green beer that made our tongues green, too.

     I'll tell you what I know about St. Patrick in case some of you who read me are not familiar with the holiday (as I probably wouldn't if I hadn't lived in the USA).

     It is said that St.Patrick was sent to Ireland to Christianise the Irish where he used a shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity of God, hence the shamrock as a symbol/decoration for this day, as well as everything green. In Ireland he is considered a patron saint of the country and the festivities can last for days with concerts, parades and fireworks.

     Check out this site with cool activities for kids for St. Patrick's Day:

http://jessekatedesigns.blogspot.com/2009/03/st-patricks-day-fun-day-6-treasure-hunt.html

SPRING IS COMING


    SPRING IS COMING !!!

The grass is getting greener and the sun is shining more often! These photos were taken 2 weeks ago at my in-laws' place (they live about an hour's drive outside of Athens). You can see there's still snow on Therphe, the mountain on Evia Island in the background.
Another view of Mt. Therphe. The blue water you see is not a lake, it's the sea and that is Evia island.

That is the view my in-laws have from their home. Nice, isn't it?

This is part of the neighbourhood. It is not densely populated (yet, I usually compare with Athens) but still it's not a really small town.
This is an olive grove, of course. The olives have already been harvested.
That little tawny creature roaming around in the olive grove is our Cocker Spaniel named "Candy".  



RICE FIELDS OF JAPAN

RICE FIELDS OF JAPAN





AMAZING
      I am awed by the creative mind of humankind all over the world....

 


 
  
 
Patience…. 


 
 
 
 
Stunning crop art has sprung up across rice fields in Japan , but this is no alien creation. The designs have been cleverly planted.

Farmers creating the huge displays use no ink or dye.

Instead, different color rice plants have been precisely and strategically arranged and grown in the paddy fields.

As summer progresses and the plants shoot up, the detailed artwork begins to emerge.




 
 
A Sengoku warrior on horseback has been created from hundreds of thousands of rice plants.
The colors are created by using different varieties. This photo was taken in Inakadate , Japan .



Napoleon on horseback can be seen from the skies. This was created by precision planting
and months of planning by villagers and farmers located in Inkadate , Japan .




Fictional warrior Naoe Kanetsugu and his wife, Osen, whose lives are featured on the television
series Tenchijin,
appear in fields in the town of Yonezawa in the Yamagata prefecture of Japan .



This year, various art work has popped up in other rice-farming areas of Japan ,
including designs of deer dancers.

Smaller works of crop art can be seen in other rice-farming areas of Japan such as this
image of Doraemon and deer dancers


The farmers create the murals by planting little purple and yellow-leafed Kodaimai rice
along with their local green-leafed Tsugaru, a Roman variety, to create the colored patterns
in the time between planting and harvesting in September.


The murals in Inakadate cover 15,000 square meters of paddy fields.


 

From ground level, the designs are invisible, and viewers have to climb the mock castle tower of the village office to get a glimpse of the work.


Closer to the image, the careful placement of the thousands of rice plants in the
paddy fields can be seen.


Rice-paddy art was started there in 1993 as a local revitalization project, an idea that
grew from meetings of the village committees


The different varieties of rice plants grow alongside each other to create the masterpieces.
In the first nine years, the village office workers and local farmers grew a simple design
of Mount Iwaki every year.
But their ideas grew more complicated and attracted more attention
.

In 2005, agreements between landowners allowed the creation of enormous rice paddy art.
A year later, organizers used computers to precisely plot planting of the four differently
colored rice varieties that bring the images to life.

International women's day

INTERNATIONAL WOMAN'S DAY



      International women's day is celebrated every year on 8 March, in remembrance of a large protest event which took place on 8 March 1857 by textile workers in New York, which called for better working conditions. 

      International women's day 8 March 2012 and today on this occasion, we must highlight and put in practice everything that comprises the contemporary female presence. Nowadays, the women conquer more and more important positions in the world of work, knowledge and social contribution.

      However, despite the struggles and institutional interventions for equal development of women, still discrimination and inequalities survive, f.e. high rates of unemployment, low wages and pensions.

      According to UNICEF the violations of the rights of women and girls in the world are varied:

· Crimes ' of honour ': Although they vary from culture to culture they have a common denominator: violence and often murder. Attacks with acids and setting them on fire are common. For example, in Pakistan, it is estimated that 1,000 such crimes of honour occur every year.

· ' Crimes due to the dowry': In India it is estimated that every year 25,000 women are murdered or distorted because of economic differences between families.

· Rape as a weapon of war: It is common practice in all modern conflicts. During Rwanda's genocide in 1994 at least 500,000 women were raped or brutally molested.

· The marriages of girls at an early age: In Asia, 1 out of 2 girls marry before 18 (that is about 9.7 million girls). The corresponding percentages in Africa is 42% and 29% in Latin America.

· The ' choice ' of sex of children before birth: UNICEF estimates that 1 million female babies die every year due to such practices of prenatal sex selection, or even after birth, by infanticide. As a result, for example in India in some areas for every 1000 men there are 861 women.

· Inequality in education: 1 in 5 girls worldwide do not finish elementary school, while it is estimated that by 2015 there will be 6 million fewer girls than boys in school.

· Deprivation of basic rights of expression and participation: In some countries such as Saudi Arabia, women generally are prohibited from voting or to pursue public office, to drive vehicles or to travel abroad. In other countries women do not have rights on property and inheritance.

· Female genital mutilation: approximately 3 million girls each year are victims of this unacceptable practice primarily in several African countries.

      International Woman's Day should remind us of the struggles our mothers and grandmothers suffered and that we should continue to fight for equality and respect for all women worldwide.


     Follow this link and find out about what and where there are International Women's Day events in your country:

http://www.internationalwomensday.com/events.asp







Breathtaking Athens Film

                            ATHENS,GREECE
                                     




New and old combine, live togeher harmoniously!

THE CENTURY OF "LESS"


The Century of 'LESS'

It is true...in the 21st Century:

Our communication - Wireless
^
Our telephone - Cordless
^
Our cooking - Fireless
^
Our youth - Jobless
^
Our Ladies - Topless
^
Our food - Fatless
^
Our labour - Effortless
^
Our conduct - Worthless
^
Our relation - Loveless
^
Our attitude - Careless
^
Our feelings - Heartless
^
Our politics - Shameless
^
Our education - Valueless
^
Our follies - Countless
^
Our arguments - Baseless
^
Our boss - Brainless
^
Our Job - Thankless
^
Our Salary - Less and less

CLEAN MONDAY - KATHARA THEFTERA



CLEAN MONDAY - "KATHARA THEFTERA"
     Clean Monday, the first day of the Greek Orthodox Great Lent, is a day of celebration. In villages around Greece, tables are set and stocked with the traditional foods of the day to welcome visiting friends and family. Greeks gather - as families, friends, or entire communities - to enjoy a day of picnics at the beach or the countryside with traditional foods, music, kite-flying and dancing.  Kite-flying is a traditional part of this day. Then they join for a feast enjoying the allowed foods and special Lenten dishes.

     The whole weekend preceding "Clean Monday" offers vigorous parties, parades, and traditional events due to the Carnival (see related post "Apokries-Carnival").

     While a holiday atmosphere still prevails, "Clean Monday" or "Kathari Theftera" marks the start of the Lenten period "Sarakosti" (40-day Lent before Easter). It is called "clean" because it starts a period during which our bodies and spirits are "cleansed" to prepare for accepting the Resurrection at Easter which is the most sacred of all observances in the Greek Orthodox faith.   

     Clean Monday is a public holiday in Greece and everything is closed. Children make the "Kyra Sarakosti," (Lady Lent), a paper doll with seven legs to represent the seven weeks of Lent. At the end of every week, a leg is cut off to show how many weeks remain until Easter.
    
     All the foods consumed on Clean Monday are all "pure" without the shedding of blood and since it is a time of fasting, it means abstaining from foods that contain animals with red blood (meats, poultry, game) and products from animals with red blood (milk, cheese, eggs, etc.), and fish and seafood with backbones. Olive oil and wine are also restricted. 

     Modern day Greeks do not abstain from all these food groups, unfortunately the vigorous rhythms of daily life are too demanding for that, even though many do succeed in doing it. Older people are the ones who do solemnly fast. It goes without saying, that children and sick people are excluded.

     Foods eaten during Lent are restricted, but that doesn't mean Lenten dishes are boring and bland, on the contrary!
Here's a small sample of Lenten dishes:




(rice filled grape leaves)



mussels with lemon juice


 Greek-Style Boiled Shrimp
Boiled shrimp with a delicious oil and lemon sauce
Taramasalata: Fish Roe Dip
Tarama (cod or carp roe) is sometimes called "the common man's caviar." Combined with olive oil and bread, it makes one of the tastiest and most famous of all Greek dips.
Maroulosalata: Cos (Romaine) Lettuce Salad
Fresh, crisp greens with green onions leeks (if desired) with a light vinegar and oil dressing.
Yigandes Plaki: Baked Bean Casserole
Yigandes are similar to giant dried Lima beans, and this oven-to-table casserole combines them with tomatoes, onions, herbs, and spices to create a fabulous dish.
Htapothi sti Skhara: Grilled Octopus
Octopus grilled over an open flame is a classic Greek meze (snack) to serve with ouzo and wine, and a favorite on Clean Monday.
Lagana: A flat bread traditionally served on this day

 fried calamari is a delicious dish as well

potato salad with parsley, dill, green onion, onion, capers, olive oil and red wine vinegar

and for dessert...
Halvas: Semolina Pudding
Halvas can be made in many different ways, and this version is made with honey, nuts, raisins, and the tastes of cinnamon and cloves, for a wonderful dessert.
Complete the table with Greek olives and fresh fruit.
And to drink? Ouzo, of course.

Καλη Σαρακοστη !!!
Have a good Lent !!!

WINTER VACATION IN GREECE?!



WINTER VACATION IN GREECE?! 
(Arachova)
Greece is universally considered ideal for summer vacations with its sandy beaches, crystal clear seas and wonderful sunny days BUT it can also be an exciting winter destination!
(Mt. Parnassos)

Who would have ever imagined that skiing or snowboarding or even snowmobiling in Greece is quite common activity during winter season!

(Mt. Parnassos)
As it is mainly a mountainous country (over 2.000 meters - 6.500 ft.) it has a number of ski resorts that attract thousands of skiers during winter. Greece has about 21 ski centers that have their base camps at altitudes of approximately 1500m. and their summits range between 2.200m. and 2.500m. The slopes range from very steep to flat slopes.

(3-5 Pigadia Ski Resort)
  You can enjoy winter sports, mountain climbing/hiking, rafting and combine them with visits at ancient historical sights nearby, traditional villages, local festivities and of course good food! And last but not least you won’t loose visual contact with the sea! Many of Greece’s ski centers are in less than an hour drive distance to the sea. This combination is unique the world over.
(lake Plastira)

You don't believe me? Take a look at these photos:

(3-5 Pigadia Ski Resort)
(Kaimaktsalan Ski Resort)
(Kalavrita Ski Resort)
(Mt. Parnassos)
(Karpenissi)
(Vermio Ski Resort)
(Arachova)











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