Text: Despina Chatzoglou
Photos: Maria Lambriadou
Translation into English: Violandi Vratsanou
Although the weather was bad, windy and cold, the participation to the May Day event in Menites held by Menites Association and Andros Routes, with the support of the Aegean Region, was great!
We all enjoyed the spring nature in Menites by walking the circular route of Menites.
We collected flowers, grass, branches of fruit trees and made wreaths. The May Day wreath may be the only custom that still connects us with the May Day. It symbolizes the re-birth of nature, of life and of people’s wish for good harvest, health and prosperity. The creation of the wreath had its own ritual. In addition to asparagus and other flowers of the field and garden, the wreath had to have – for a good harvest – a wheat stalk, a branch of olive, almond, vine as well as „ornós“ (fraxinus ornus) for fertility, garlic against the “evil eye” and „tserovliá“ (pistacia terebinthus) against slander.
It was difficult to pick out the best wreath. The jury consisting of Mr. Dimitris Laskaris, Prefect of Andros, Mr. Dimitris Lotsaris, Mayor of Andros and Mrs. Zoe Goulandris, member of our Association, decided to choose the three best ones. The prize – a basket full of traditional products – was awarded to Attiki Piagou. Homemade specialities – lemonade, sweets and traditional May Day dishes – were offered to the participants. We very much enjoyed the life music played by Vangelis, Karolos and Dimitris, who we sincerely thank for the fun they gave us until late in the afternoon.
The people that participated to this hiking festival were natives from many parts of the island (Gavrio, Agios Petros, Katakilos, Batsi, Mesathouri, Mesaria, Chora, Pitrofo, Katakalaioi, Menites) as well as visitors from Belgium, Italy, Τhe Netherlands, Germany and several teachers (employed in Andros and true regulars in our hikes)! A real panspermy of colours and people!
We thank all hiking participants and the members of the Menites Association who always tirelessly contribute in such events.