I was invited to a party with Julie and family to some friends I had met at a party at Kostas and Julies a week ago. They wanted them to bring me to see their house and have a party for me. Pretty nice of them!
It is in this little village of Kria Vrisi in the back country of Crete in among the olive trees in the heart of the olive oil country. It was pretty amazing this big old place with many separate buildings.
It had a big basin where they said they used to stomp on the grapes with their feet to make wine. In another building they had a press to squeeze the olives from their trees for the oil. The guy said he now uses the grape crushing basin for a swimming pool for the kids in the summer.
There is another very old building that is preserved as it was when his grandfather and grandmother lived there. It still is preserved as it was the day they left. The grandparents live in Athens now and only come back to stay there on a couple holidays. Looks like it hasn’t been lived in for a hundred years with all the old pictures hanging and things just left where they were way back when they left.
Pretty cool stuff wish it had been during the day so I could see more and take more photos. These are some photos of the party and the beehive shaped very old wood stove they used to cook the food in. It was some of the best lamb I have tasted on Crete. It melted in your mouth!!!!!!!!
Towards the end of the party they started to sing the old traditional Cretan songs that most times accompany a party on Crete. The songs they sing go back to 1000 A.D. I’ll put in some info below. It is awesome to feel the vibe from them. I have also written about them before. They are mesmerizing when you are there and listening to them. As they get into it it gets better and better and the more people join in. It was an incredible experience for me. One that I will never forget. Thank you all Loved it!!!!!!!!
|The rizitika songs form a separate category of the Cretan folksongs. As the name indicates, the place of their origin is at the foot (rizes) of the mountains, especially the Lefka Ori in Western Crete.|
|Nobody knows exactly when the first rizitika songs came into existence, but at least they can be traced back to the Byzantine period (about 1.000 A.D.). The rizitika tradition has survived both the Venetian and the Turkish domination of the island, and is still alive in the 21st century. As a matter of fact there are a number of songs about the German occupation of Crete during the Second World War. Even today new rizitika songs are being composed, and their content and style do indeed live up to that of the old songs.|
|Besides the chronological classification, the songs are also divided into the two categories tis tavlas (at the table) and tis stratas (on the road).|
|The songs of the tis tavlas category are sung during banquets, at parties, baptisms, weddings and on other lesser occasions – and they are always sung without musical accompaniment.|
|The tis stratas songs are rarely sung nowadays, but in former times people sang them when they were walking or riding from one place to another. Often the songs were accompanied by a lyra (or a fiddle in Eastern Crete) and a laouto. This category also includes some of the wedding songs that were sung when the bridegroom set out for his parents-in-law’s home, and later when he brought his bride to their common home. Furthermore there are wedding songs where the bridegroom’s mother welcomes the bride, as well as when the dowry was exhibited.|
|The songs did change in the course of time. In Byzantine time a popular subject was the dying border soldier Digenis Akritas. Often the descriptions in the songs were exaggerated, as for instance in the well-known song about Digenis Akritas: For other photos of Crete click the links below>|