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August 15th (DecapenteAugustos) 3rd most important holiday in Greece by Archaeologous

August15-1 If you happen to be vacationing in Greece today, then you will be experiencing a  national holiday that is honored on DekapenteAvgoustos’ (August 15th) each year. This is the most important religious celebration other than Paska (Easter) and Xristouyennia (Christmas) in the whole Greek Orthodox yearly calendar.

It’s a national and religious holiday that marks the death, “falling asleep” or in Greek, “kimisis”,  of Mother Mary, known as the Panagia. This is marking the date when she died and joined her son, Christ, in heaven. So it is a festival of celebrating joy and not sorrow. Along with the church services will be a festival night called a panigiri which depending on the island/place, can lasts up to 16 hours of straight dancing, music, and feasting. August15-5

Many Greeks take this time to travel back to their home villages or islands. On the celebration feast day of the ‘Dormiton of the Theotokos’ (Mary) the people have a 2 week fast which is broken on August 15th. This tradition was established 1400 years ago.

It is recorded that angels advised Mother Mary, Panagia, of her pending death three days prior to the event.  She was transported on her deathbed to the Garden of Gethesmene in Jerusalem where she was buried. However, like her son, only her grave clothes were found in her tomb after three days when Apostle Thomas entered the tomb. August15-6.jpg

If you happen to be in Tinos, Mount Vermion or Paros you will be witnessing and participating in the most sacred places for this tradition. If you need any help with your vacation plans let us know at Archaeologous.com.

 

 

 

 

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Archaeologous has been busy adding new tours in Greece and Turkey

Just to update any of you interested in a vacation to Greece. Our reliable tour company, Archaeologous, has added some great tours for those of you that want to save money.  You can ‘share’ a tour to places like Delphi, ancient home of the Oracle, or do a 3 day tour that will have you in awe of Meteora, Olympus and Delphi: https://www.archaeologous.com/tours/107/3-day-classical-tour-greece/. Maybe you want to go kayaking in Santorini and see the island from a whole new fun perspective:    https://www.archaeologous.com/tours/108/santorini-sea-kayaking-fun/

Maybe next summer you will be seeing the famed Santorini sunset sailing around the Santorini Caldera for a honeymoon or family reunion. https://www.archaeologous.com/tours/96/santorini-5-hour-catamaran-sailing-tour/

We love the feeling we get when we help our clients have exceptional vacations. Let us assist you.

 

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Top 10 Interesting Things about Greece?

  • Greeks don’t call their country Greece. It is Ellada. The official name of Greece is the Hellenic Republic.

  • The Athens Archaeological Museum and the many other museums in Athens are filled with treasures. Family favorite.100_1322

  • The whole population of the country of Greece in 2015 was 12 million. That’s less than the city of Los Angeles in California

  • The largest population distribution lives in the capital, Athens (Athina). Other major cities include Thessaloniki, Patras and Heraklion.

  • Greek is the official language spoken in Greece, however most everyone speaks a second and third language.

  • Greece is a member of the European Union and uses the Euro as its currency.

  • Ferries to Greek Island from AthensGreece is  home to over a dozen World Heritage Sites.

  • Greece features 6,000  islands, but only 227 are inhabited. Some of these like Santorini and Mykonos are world class vacation destinations.

  • Greece is one of the most mountainous countries in Europe with Mount Olympus (home of the ancient Gods) reaching 2917 meters.

  • Ancient Greece laid the foundation for democracy, theatre, medicine, cooking, and philosophy

  • The Olympic Games originated in Ancient Greece.Peg&Butch-Athens-from-Ikaria 085

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Athens One day ~ Three Greek Islands Tour

Check out how in one day (from Athens) you can experience ‘three’ Greek islands, Hydra, Poros and Aegina. How fun is that? Three totally different looks and feels. Explore one, have a Mediterranean feast at another and at the third be taking to an ancient temple.  Sit back and enjoy our YouTube video of 3 Greek islands.

Athens One day tour to ~ Three Greek Islands

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MYKONOS–Fun & History Packed by Archaeologous

Thinking of a Mykonos vacation? Check out this short interesting video showing you how much there is to do on this dynamic island. Of course, there are award winning beaches and the little island 20 minutes away called Delos which is a sacred place, and the sunsets are spectacular as you sit seaside and toast to ‘living like this forever’. The Greek island experience is not just a dream… Make it happen… We can help. Enjoy.

MYKONOS–Fun & History Packed by Archaeologous.

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3 Greek Islands in 1 Day from Athens by Archaeologous

How fun, You’re visiting the ancient mecca of thought, Athens. You’ve perhaps gone to the legendary perfect architectural masterpiece of the Parthenon and visited a museum or two. Now what? Let me suggest doing what my cousin and I did upon her visit.

In one day you take a fabulous boat ride (capacity about 140) to three truly different Greek islands. The first we experienced, (the order may change), was Hydra with it’s ‘donkey instead of car’ policy. Charming, clean, tons of great shops for souvenirs, delightful port side cafes, and beloved vacation spot for many Athenians. (and they have their choice)

Next after sailing, getting some sun and fresh air on the deck we reach Poros for a Mediterranean buffet lunch and exploration time.

Then the finale for us was Aegina, once the ancient capital of Greece. Gorgeous, pistachio ice cream, sunsets over the ruins of the ancient temples are just a few of the many plus marks we gave Aegina. All for one low price, the boat trip, the lunch, the entertainment on the boat. For further info:

great vacation fun, just outside Athens. 3 islands in one day.

great vacation fun, just outside Athens. 3 islands in one day.

http://www.archaeologous.com/tours/3-greek-islands-tour/

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Best Greek souvenir-Worry Beads

If you’ve ever been nervous, or twittled your fingers, or perhaps grabbed a cigarette just for something to do with your hands, then let me introduce an age old remedy… The Greek Worry beads.

Plaka-worry beads-Athens 096

When walking around the various shopping areas in Greece, you will see every age, size and shape male standing close to their shop entrance talking with each other while twirling their worry beads with one hand. It passes the time and is therapeutic for stress relief.

The history of the worry bead (Komboloi) dates back to a time when the  Mount Athos monks began making strands of beads by tying knots at regular interval for saying their prayers.

Now, however, you will find the beads used for fun and stress release instead of praying.  NOTE: a fun game is to have the children you are traveling with (if you are) count how many shop owners are standing outside their shops twirling their worry beads.

Worry beads come in all colors and various sizes. They pack easily, are inexpensive and serve quite a pleasant purpose.

The most common of the many stones used for worry beads is amber plus other organic beads. Take your time to buy a ‘hand made Komboloi as the beauty and prices vary immensely. Prices can be only a few euros up to 1,000 euros. Try the Plaka and the Monasteraki for 1000’s of choices. Many stores are equipped to ship your orders back to your home.

You can learn the various ways to flip the beads. One way is a quiet way for indoors and not bothering anyone and the other is a noisy way when you are outside. If you are touring on a day trip from Athens to Nafplion, you will be able to go to the unique Komboloi Museum that was created in 1981.

Other helpful interesting links:

https://archaeologous.wordpress.com/2013/11/26/tour-athens-by-night-assisted-by-archaeologous/

https://archaeologous.wordpress.com/2013/08/29/top-5-destinations-greece-for-multi-day-vacations/