Saturday, 26 April 2014

The Paleokastritsa Panegyri

There is a dancer here (he looks like a clothed kouros statue), leading the line and swirling around rather daintily.

His long ringlets sway and he is the centre of attention, just as he likes it.

I attempt to capture this young man's image with my camera but the battery packs up and he is consigned to ancient history.

So we will have to make do with what the camera saw before it stopped working.
Not quite a kouros, but equally impressive.

This is our first panegyri of 2014. It's held on New Friday, in the week after Easter, up on the monastery car park in Paleokastritsa, on Corfu's north west coast.

There's a bus taking people up the hill. We wait patiently for it to return and then fifty Greeks turn up from nowhere and barge right in. It's standing room only so we forget about the bus and walk up the road. It's not so bad.

We can see the bright lights and hear the familiar music of the Skolarikis brothers.
They look at least twenty years older than they do on their CD, available in all good record shops in Corfu Town. But the songs are the same. They just make you want to get up and dance.
But tonight, Nikos the dancer, who usually has at least ten T-shirts in his rucksack to change into during the course of a panegyri because he sweats so much, is not dancing. He is still in mourning for the young man from his village who was killed in a car accident three weeks ago.

'I cannot dance,' he says. 'It does not feel right for me.'

The place is getting very crowded. It is too early for many tourists so the people here are mostly Greeks having fun and the odd ex-pat. They might not have much, these people, but they know how to have fun.

There are stalls selling baskets, candy floss, doughnuts and overpriced tat including toy guns, dolls and battery chargers. There is a tub full of cold beer and a bar stocked with tsipouro, ouzo, vodka and retsina.

Lamb turns on the spit and it is sold by the kilo, the butcher smashing it with his cleaver and wrapping it up in waxed paper.
And still the kouros dances.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x

1 comment:

  1. I can hear the music and I believe that I can smell that lamb!


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