1st of SEPTEMBER or "PROTOTRYITIA"September 1, in Skopelos, was considered the first day of the year. After all, it is the ecclesiastical "New Year". It was also called "Prototryitia" or "Prototrygitia" because on that day the harvest began. The housewife either leaves a glass of water outside the house from the night before or goes to the tap in the morning and fills a jug. Returning, before entering the house he will exclaim "Good morning home" he enters with his right foot after first having placed a pomegranate on the threshold of the house which he will step on. Then he sprinkles water on the four corners of the house saying "As the water runs, so may the good run in our house" Then, they threw a stone so that those who live in the house will be strong like the stone. Consecration can also be used instead of water, which is kept all year for this moment. "Ambodiaco" (that's what this custom is called) in this case can also be done with an image without the use of a pomegranate. It is rather a Christianization of custom.
"Bramdes" is a traditional Skopelos carnival disguise. They wear good headscarves and local clothing (fustanelles, breeches, gowns of the time) as well as lots of silver turbans. They go from neighborhood to neighborhood and sing the epic song of "Vlacha". -Let's go Vlacha to the other cafe Let me treat you Vlacha sumada and clay -I don't want the sumada or the clay I just want a Turkish delight and a sweet coffee... The "Bramdes" gather on Tyrini Sunday in the squares of Panagia Papameletiou, in In Gyftorema, in Mylos, in Ai - Giannis and in Christos, they sing and dance while the housewives treat them to rice-milk galaktobourekos and plenty of wine.
Also on Tyrini Sunday, the custom of "trawling" is celebrated, in which masked men draw a boat with reeds - the trawling - and pass from neighborhood to neighborhood singing eutrapela (pirpaska) songs, improvising and teasing the attendees. The crowd that follows the trawler with the "trataraeus" consists of masquerades who sing, drink and are served rice milk by the housewives, while at dusk this course ends at the beach where they will "launch" their trawler into the sea. The feast and the dances continue in the houses until the morning hours. It is a custom that probably represents the corsairs that once ravaged the Aegean islands and were the fear and terror of the inhabitants. On Monday which is called "
TRADITIONS AND LEGENDSDRAKONTOSCHISMA
According to tradition, Agios Riginos, the patron saint of the island, hunted and killed the Dragon (who was exterminating the people who came to the island) in the area between Staphylos and Agnontas. The place where the mountain split and the ground gave way causing the Dragon to fall off the cliff and be killed is called the Dragon Rift.
In the northern part of Skopelos, at the location of Kalogeros, there is a large standing stone in the sea, which is called Kalogeropetra, because it is similar in color and shape to a monk. Here there used to be shares of the Prodromos monastery and monks lived in them. Tradition says that once one of them slipped off the cliff and fell into the sea, and since then the stone has come out in this place.
THE TREASURE IN PALUKI
A treasure is said to exist in Paluki, the mountain that rises opposite the city. Someone dreamed of going to find the treasure, but not telling anyone. He, being afraid, took someone else with him. However, in the place where the dream told him, he dug and found a coal cauldron.
ROUBOS AND BABAKOKOLS
Once the Skopelians quarreled with the Skiathians over the island of Tsougria, which is located in front of the harbor of Skiathos. Because the city of Skopelos is exposed to the north, the people of Skopelos wanted to move the islet and put it in front of their port, to protect them. So they thought, and after tying up animal intestines, they made a big rope and started pulling Chugria. That is why today the Skopelites are called rubos (i.e. dumb). The Skiathites then fell into the sea and kept their island from being taken from them. However, in order not to sink and go to the bottom, they plugged their butts with a rubber band. Thus, to this day, they are still called babakokololi.
In the Chests, they say that some dragon had hidden a treasure. They say he was buried where the first ray of the sun strikes, when it rises, at a certain time of the year. Many tried to find him and for this reason they destroyed the ancient sarcophagi of the area.
THE ISLAND OF STAPHYLUS
A tradition says that there is a treasure on the island of Staphylos. For this reason the top of the island has been excavated since ancient times. Even ancient buildings have been destroyed by the hoarding of the inhabitants.
In Glyfoneri, at Stavros, they say that there is a treasure under a stone. But in order to find him, two twin brothers must be killed first.
Similar is the tradition about the treasure on the islet of Dassia, opposite the area of Andrines in Panormos. There was a deep well there, guarded by an Arab sitting on a marble stool with a pickaxe in his mouth. A great treasure was hidden in the well, but to get it one had to kill a relative. Several years ago, someone dreamed of Arapi saying to him: "If you want to become rich, come to Arapi the stool in Dasia. But you must give a face of your own." He agreed with his brother to go to Dasia for wood. They went to the island and only one brother came back. The other brother and the island's policeman at the time found themselves rich...
CASTING OUT EVIL EYE
In Skopelos, casting out the evil eye is called liokormo. They put a small image or a cross in a glass of water and if there is evil eye, bubbles come out. They also throw in three pieces of coal and if they go to the bottom there is again mesh, while if they stay on the surface there is none. They also pour three drops of oil, which dissolve in water, or burn a match, which goes to the bottom, if the person is cross. There used to be witch-doctors, in whom they had great confidence. A famous doctor in Skopelos was the mother-in-law of Pavlos Nirvana Kyratso, who treated without money.
FEASTS AND CELEBRATION
August 6th at the Monastery of the Transfiguration of Sotiros August 15th there is a festival in Glossa with lots of dancing and singing December 4th at the Monastery of Agia Varvara. Don't forget to attend the music-themed events, which start in mid-August and end with the Plum Festival at the end of the same month.
Editor: Fotini Anastasopoulou