Mum and Dad...I Love you
the lovely Lacta ladies at Athens' The Mall yesterday
where we enjoyed a concert with Myronas Stratis courtesy of MTV!
The delicious chocolate shown above and the tray of muffins below (healthy ones I might add - just ask for the recipe) which our daughter decided to make for us yesterday with a lot of love, but most of all the gift of bearer-entitled endless hugs and kisses, unlimited and unconditional love and affection which she gives us everyday of her young life, were our daughter's Valentine Day gift to us...
Officially, it is the day for celebrating with lovers, but we prefer to think of it as the day for celebrating with all those we love - not just sweethearts and spouses, but also siblings, parents, grandparents and children and of course wonderful friends - whoever we want to include in that special circle of loved ones.
Officially it is the day we tell our loved ones we love them, but we shouldn't have to wait for Valentine's Day to do that...we should be telling them that every day, with words or with our actions!
We couldn't resist sharing these lovely photos from the display at one of our local florists - the Athenian store vitrines are full of exotic displays showing how much time and effort has been put into keeping up with the spirit of the day, despite the economic crisis,or maybe even because of it!
The celebration in Greece has an added 'religious' dimension to it - it is referred to as Aghiou Valentinou, Saint Valentine's Day, in keeping with all the rest of the eortes!
In the rest of the world the day is referred to simply as Valentine's Day...
Most of you will know that Greece and Greek Mythology gave the world the God Eros, whose Latin counterpart was Cupid of course. What you may not know is that in Greece, and particularly in Anogia in Crete, they hold their own celebration of love and lovers on the 3rd July each year, the feast day of the Orthodox Saint Valentine, Agios Yakinthos, or Saint Hyacinth, the patron saint of love, youth and lovers, who was born in 98 AD in Caesaria in Ancient Cappadocia-the same place Aghios Vassilis came from - and was martyred at 20 for his Christian faith.
παίρνει την Κρήτη στα φτερά, τον έρωτα στα χέρια
κατηφορίζει το βουνό το μονοπάτι παίρνει
και ο ήλιος μόλις τον κοιτά χαμογελά και γέρνει
Ο Άγιος Υάκινθος ανοίγει παραθύρια
σμίγει τα στήθια τα κορμιά και χτίζει τα γιοφύρια
ν' αγαπηθούν οι άνθρωποι να ομορφύνει ο κόσμος
ν' ανθίσει ο βασιλικός η ρίγανη κι ο δυόσμος
Ο Άγιος Υάκινθος ξυπνάει στον Ψηλορείτη
να 'ρχότανε να πέρναγε κι απ 'το δικό σου σπίτι
να σου'φερνε να σου'λεγε των δέντρων τον έρωτά του
να ξύπναγες απ'την αρχή να 'ρχόσουνα κοντά του...
Whichever day YOU decide to celebrate love, seize the moment, take the opportunity offered to tell your loved ones how much they mean to you!
You don't have to go to extremes, you don't have to buy out the entire shop of roses or chocolates, just show them that they are important in your life -a smile, a kiss or a hug is usually more than enough!
We all need to feel we are loved, so do that everyday if you can...and if you can't, well, today's the day! Our wish to you is simple, love and be loved! :)