2018 is gone and we are the start of 2019. A lot of Cretans have celebrated the change of the year with a game of poker or with playing the dies, for money so that they will have a wealthy start of the New Year! (not for the loosers of course but who knows who is going to lose or win at the beginning of the game…)
Before they start playing the family gathers together around the table for a dinner of greek specialities and of course also the melomakarona and the kourabiedes, these two “cookies” are made especialy for these days and everybody loves them, in nearly every houses these cookies are baked and they give the house that special Christmas and end of the year smell, as all Cretans say, you can’t celebrate the end of the year without this smell.
After dinner Agios Vasilis or Santa Claus comes around with gifts for the children, as the first of the year is the name day of Agios Vasileos the great or Saint Vasilis (Basil)
You see that a lot goes on on New Years eve in Crete, it is a party in which the whole family participates, young and old!
A few weeks ago a met a very friendly and interesting couple from Roumenië who participated in some of my excursions. On the last stop of the last excursion they made with me we sat together for a coffee and started talking about our interests in history and culture. During this conversation they showed me pictures of ceramics that look a lot like the ceramics the Minoans had made (2600 – 1400BC) I was very much amazed by the pictures but even more by the fact that these ceramics were made around 5200 – 3000BC!! in Europe!
This vase and other ceramic foundings are part of the Cucuteni or Tripolye Culture, it is a neolithic eneolithic archeological culture that was found in Transylvania. The today area of North-East Roumania, Western Ukrain and Moldova.
This Culture is called the Cucuteni Culture because the first findings of it were found in the village Cucuteni in Roumenië in spring 1885 when the first excations started after fragments of ceramic were found during road constructions.