Forgotten melodies, “talking” images, words and songs of the old days accompany the original presentation of the voluminous and colourful volume “Folk Rituals in Crete, Customs in the Circle of Time” by Nikos Psilakis, co-organized by the Panhellenic Federation of Cretan Cultural Associations, the Pancretan Union, the Literary Society “Parnassos” and the Association for Cretan History, Tradition and Folklore ” Drosoulites“, on Friday 24 May at 7.00 in the afternoon.

It is an event of immersion in the traditional culture of the Megalonese with special references to rituals that have their origins in the remote antiquity, mainly from the Archaic, Classical and Byzantine times and constitute a true wealth of soul for today’s Crete and, in general, for the entire Greek world. More than 100 slides will be shown – documents depicting the customary life of the Cretans, mainly rituals that have begun to decline or have been forgotten today.

At the author’s side will be representatives of the Cretan Associations of Athens as well as Antonis Marchakis, one of the main contemporary pillars of our musical tradition, who will perform the forgotten Cretan spring carols, a wonderful chant (agermon) that could be heard on the island until the beginning of the 20th century.

Rizitiko song will be performed by the Rizitiko group of Drosoulites.

The event will be addressed by

Yorgos Aikaterinidis, former Director of Research at the Centre for the Study of Greek Folklore of the Academy of Athens

Petros Manteos, Journalist

and the author of the book

The Vice President of the Literary Society “Parnassos” Manolis Hadjinakis, philologist, former Deputy Minister of Culture moderates the discussion.

The “Folk Rituals” are the fruit of a systematic study that began more than 40 years ago. The 610 pages of the publication document and analyse all the customs of popular worship in Crete with dense references to the other regions of the country and similar comparisons.

It is a scientific and at the same time poetic approach to popular culture, enriched with impressive photographic material of high documentary and artistic value, a comprehensive study based on primary field research and thorough documentation of largely unknown aspects of popular culture. It is not only the descriptions, the result of persistent research efforts, but also the author’s penetrating view, which seeks the roots of customs in the oldest world, the Classical, Hellenistic and Byzantine eras, as well as the cultic implications and the social content of popular worship.

At a time when many of the old customs not only of Crete but also of the rest of Greece are in retreat and at the same time new models are constantly emerging, it is necessary to reflect on the preservation of the intangible customary wealth that was not only a basic building material of our cultural identity but also an element of social cohesion.

The event is under the auspices of the Region of Crete.

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