Happy New Year!
We hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Holiday Season, beginning with the Winter Solstice and ending with 12thNight or Epiphany, and which in Greece is called “ton Foton”– or the Enlightment.
Its always been so fascinating to me how these holidays are all so illuminating, beginning in darkness and coming to the light, full of hope and blessings. We all gather our loved ones around the hearth, telling stories and singing carols to ward off evil spirits and to welcome in warmth and light. We feast together and feel a general calm as we embrace the change of seasons and hunker down with the burning of the greens to await the awakening of spring.
In Greece, pomegranates longed revered since ancient times as symbols of fertility and abundance – once the emblem of Persephone, the daughter of the goddess Demeter and arbiter of Spring – are these days smashed against Greek homes on New Year’s Eve to ward off bad luck and usher in prosperity and abundance for the new year. On New Year’s Day, the Vasilopita, baked with a good luck coin within, is shared with family and friends. The one who finds the coin in their slice wins “the luck” for the year!
Another Greek tradition is the blessing of the Cross by Orthodox bishops in seaside towns and cities across the Aegean and beyond, wherever the Greek diaspora has settled by the waters. The Cross is then thrown into the sea, and a whole bevy of believers dive in to retrieve the Cross from the depths. The Bishop then will bless whoever brings it back to the land. I look at this imagery as quite glorious – the Light coming up from the waters.
Wise men followed the Star
Found Christ, Light of Light
May you too find your Light
Seek it on Pilgrimage
From darkness into Light
We at HHYR would like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year – wishing one and all, health, happiness and prosperity throughout 2019!
We also hope to see many of you with us in Greece this summer.
Namaste ~ Eleni + the HHYR team