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The younger and the older generations still keep the tradition of the Trates/Τράτες alive on Skopelos and build together these wonderful boats. Ready to sail in a while!

It was a fantastic Sunday afternoon with song and dance, a lot of wine and beer around but everybody remembered again what this tradition is about. Good work cultural and folkloric association!!!

young

The youngest participant were from the elementary school with all the parents around the boat helping out when it was needed. They danced together and sang the traditional songs. It was great to see.

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Living on an island is both sweet and sour at the same time. You cannot compare it to living in a city, a village. There is a melancholic feeling about the fact that you are separated from the rest of the country/world because of the sea and only boats can help you bridge that distance. This melancholic feeling is expressed very well is this song by Marios Fragoulis/Μάριος Φραγούλις, a world famous Greek singer. I have translated this freely, how I think the words in the song are meant.

Like land that once was one
Like the islands, our lives are apart
How can I travel to you
How can I get there without sails

Both of us alone
Their island, their lives
Night has come my love
All over the world
The waves are breaking
Ships without power
The sea my love
My whole life

People connected to the earth
Trees that break the loneliness
Eyes that are used to foreign things
Letters that remained closed

=====================================
Σα νησιά οι ζωές μας χωριστά
Σα στεριές που κάποτε ήταν ένα
Σα νησιά οι ζωές μας χωριστά
Πώς να ταξιδέψω ως εσένα
Πώς να ‘ρθείς εδώ χωρίς πανιά

Καθένας μόνος του
Νησί του, ο κόσμος του
Βράδιασε αγάπη μου
Σ’ όλη τη γη
Σπάνε στα κύματα
Καράβια αδύναμα
Θάλασσα αγάπη μου
Όλη η ζωή

Άνθρωποι – νησιά στη γη δεμένα
Δέντρα που λυγίζει η μοναξιά
Μάτια που συνήθισαν στα ξένα
Γράμματα που έμειναν κλειστά

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Good morning on this wonderful Saturday morning. The sun is shining and spring is in the air. The almond trees are slowly losing their flowers and before we know it small almonds will start growing on the trees again. Life goes on. The spring flowers are out and showing their beautiful colors. Tomorrow we hope the weather will be good so many people can enjoy the carnival festivities on the island!

trates

Working until late are Stamatis and the two Dimitri’s. Their boat/Τράτα isn’t ready yet so they are working hard to get it finished before Sunday afternoon when the procession will be! Yes you are right in asking yourself why this boat is open? How can it sail? Well, the boat is lifted up and taken in the hands of the crew and captain and dragged along the streets. In Glossa the boat is put on the back of a truck and driven around. In the end it will be thrown in the sea where it will sink (if the water is deep enough…)

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2017-02-16-12-10-22

The children of the high school in cooperation with the parents board organized a party outside the school; a bbq with souvlakia and sausages fries and drinks. Many children were dressed up and the music was loud. After the initiative that some students took, this party was organized and thanks to a couple of teachers the meat was bbq-ed! Thank you also to the volunteers Anne-Guurt, Stavroula and Irini. Next year again!

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It is Tsiknopempti today and Skopelosnews started early celebrating by making a lunch packet with fried chips and sausages. We managed not to burn the food although that is what this day is also about. We don’t call it for nothing charred Thursday! How would we dress up tonight was the talk at breakfast. Make-up and several wigs were taken out of the box that Skopelosnews has in the attic. All schools are having a party and are eating meat. The high school is bbq-ing souvlakia and every bar will be open tonight and you are welcome (masque please!!) More later today Chronia polla/Χρόνια πολλά!!

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In the mood

To forget a little about the daily struggles and to stop worrying for a bit the Greeks go full throttle ahead during the Carnival period which has officially started on the 5th of February. Parties are organized everywhere in hotels, restaurants, bars and private houses. Most parties are parties where you have to dress up. Some parties have a theme. On Thursday, Tsiknopempti, the whole island will party.

Last Sunday the folklore and cultural association had a wonderful presentation about what carnival on Skopelos is about. What we celebrate when we talk about Tsiknopempti, Trates and Kales.

On Skopelos some traditions are unique and they should be celebrated correctly. Lots of people young and old(er) were there for the presentation.
The association will also go into the high school to explain to the children about Trates and how this yearly feast should be celebrated. This Sunday the procession of the Trates will take place in the streets of Skopelos. In Glossa the trates are being driven around and end up on the square near the church.

trates
(Trates 2016 photo Daphne Jaeggi Chliverou)

A week later oi Kales will dance through the streets. Take a look at the photo below.
kales
Kales procession in front of the Agios Jannis/Tries Hierarches church, 1960. Photo was published by Katherina Betsanis.

Skopelosnews has written earlier about the traditions and explained in short what they are about; Tsiknopemti
Trates and
Kales

Both processions Trates and Kales in Skopelos will start in the beginning of the afternoon (around three o’ clock?) on both Sundays. If you are in town you will hear the “noise”

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Spiros Kosmas used to work in the National Bank but his heart lies with his bees. He told skopelosnews passionately that he used to have about 180 boxes with bees and in each box about 5000 bees need to live there. This way they can survive. He lost a lot of bees during the heavy snowfall in January because he could not reach the boxes in time. Now slowly slowly he will try to increase the bee “families”
In the meantime he makes natural soaps, ointments and he has honey too. His workplace is a small museum.

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