A Redneck Easter in Greece

My children tell people that they are half Greek and half Redneck. Well, let me tell you about Easter here in Kalamata, Greece. The fellow who runs the shop at the street level of our apartment told us that we are in a great place for “bang bang” on Saturday night.

It is a tradition in Messenia to throw purchased or home made explosives the Saturday night before Easter. They also fill cardboard tubes with gunpowder and light them like flares, called “saites”. A travel site said that the practice of celebrating in this way is most prevalent in the capital city of Kalamata. It can be deafening and it can be quite dangerous. My children can now say that they are 100 percent redneck. Looking forward to a bang up Easter. It will be like being on Samish Island, Washington on the fourth of July.

Just saw another confirmation of Kalamata redneck status. Saw a refrigerator on a front porch. A few derelict cars in the front yard on cinder blocks would clinch it.

Looking forward to Good Friday service with Tina’s family.

What a delightful day here today. Calm sea, no clouds and in the low 80’s. This was a kickback day.

There is a container ship anchored outside the harbor, it looks like it is setting on a table top, the sea is so calm.

The few Greek language lessons I did on the trip to the Carolinas did not take. Tina can get along OK so I am relying on her and the fact that most people speak English. I do reply in Spanish frequently, just to throw people off. Tina has not caught on but the locals still just answer me in English, not fooling them.

Went to the Good Friday procession. It is huge here with three church’s separate processions converting at the Port. A great celebration. I do not have any pictures because as we were leaving our apartment a lady cautioned us about the “bumps”. I thought she was warning us about pick pockets. So, I put our phones and wallets back in the apartment. She was warning us about the explosives the locals toss during the procession. So no pictures. Great explosions thought. I think some were dynamite.

Have not yet seen one of the “saite” flare things. But, I have heard that there are ten deaths every year due to their use. Further confirmation that there are rednecks here.

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