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Kathara Deftera - Clean Monday - Anoghi
Monday 19th February 2007
Traditionally Kathara Deftera means the beginning of the 40 day fast before Easter. It's a time when Greece gives up the souvlaki and grazes on the vegetarian and seafood fare of the world. It's also the day when the locals head up to Anoghi for a picnic and to fly kites. It was too cold to head up to the peaks, but the local Anoghi community made sure everyone who defied the very chilly elements, was comfortable and well looked after. A thick fog covered the upper island and as there was no wind, so it left only the picnic.... and oh what a picnic. Local women of the village cooked up a great feast of pies, pasta, octopus, prawns, salads and dips, with local bread and wine. Village hospitality, despite the weather, made the day memorable and very enjoyable. Kathara Deftera definitely wasn't what was expected, but everyone who ventured out of their warm homes, had a great time.
A feast for Kings
An eerie, but inspiring day in Anoghi
Ithakis Mayor, Mr. Vasilopoulos (Left) was there to help the community set up for the days celebration, helping set out the food and giving his support to the community.


thara Deft era



When the tables filled inside, locals gathered outside... even in the cold.
There was thick fog covering the mountain village of Anoghi, no matter where you looked or where you walked. Such winter scenes are rarely experienced by visitors to the island. Many find it hard to believe that Anoghi has snow most years, but locals know too well how isolated the village can be through the winter months.

The unexpected day gave the opportunity to talk to some of the Anoghi locals who braved the cold for a cigarette or two or three. They were hoping for sunshine that in winter, this village, sees far too little of. Everyone was in good spirits despite the change of plans for the day.

'Fogged in' in Anoghi


In total only about 50 or so people congregated at the old Anoghi school where there was enough food and wine to feed all the villages, but then when the drizzle started and the chill intensified, the school slowly began to empty out. Some went home, others went on to the village Cafenion where the pot belly stove warmed the cockles and music from Epirus echoed through the closed glass doors into the foggy streets. It wasn't long before the dancing started and some traditional Greek fun was had. Old captains, village stalwarts and locals from lower ithaki made good company with house wine, Metaxa and more food, this time, coming from the Cafe kitchen. A cold day transformed into one of those rare occasions when, those who didn't want to spend the day in front of the tele or doing their regular chores, revved up an afternoon reminiscent of the long gone past.







The relaxed and traditional atmosphere inside the Anoghi Cafenion passed the afternoon just fine. Kite flying was forgotten and so were sunny days. It seemed like a perfect Monday afternoon just the way it was on this Kathara Deftera Day.

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