lunes, 31 de marzo de 2008


Andalusia lies between the well-known mountains of Sierra Morena and Sierra Nevada. The southern part of the country is washed by the Atlantic Ocean. Its main river is called Guadalquivir which increases the lands fertility. It has three main cities : Seville, Cordoba and Granada (pomegranate in Arabic). It is the southest and biggest region of Spain, the ancient Vaetic. It lies between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean sea. It is 87,268 sq. klm and it has a population of 5,893,400 (1960). In 1833 it was separated administratively in 8 provinces and each one is named after its capital : Uelva, Seville, Cordoba, Haen, Cadix, Malaga, Granada and Almeria. The first four make the Upper Andalusia and the rest the Southern Andalusia. Its climate is mild in winter and warm in summer, especially in the southern Mediterranean areas. The northern part of Andalusia is covered almost entirely by the legendary mountain range of Sierra Morena.

History : The region of Andalusia is the ancient Vaetic from the name of the river Vaetio (Guadalquivir today) where according to mythology was the garden of Hesperides.

The unique and various minerals of Sieraa Morena were transferred by the Phoenicians to Tyros and then to Carthage.

Ancient Andalusia had immeasurable value for Rome because it supplied the empire with oil, wine and its precious minerals, especially its silver. The battle of Caesar in 45 B.C. in Munda is legendary. Tradition has it that as a roman province it gave Rome famous emperors such as Traianos, Adrianos as well as Marcus Aurilius and Theodosius. In 409 B.C. the Vandals settles in the area and that is how the name of the area came up (Vandalusia – Andalusia).

Music : In the field of music Andalusia is presented as the symbol of Spanish music. The main old types of Andalusian music are: a) singing dances to the accompaniment of castanets that belong to the flamenco type, b) songs : the seguirigia, the colpa, the polo, the martinete, the solea.

The modern andalusian music which has been affected by the new modern world, the world of the gypsies is always accompanied by the guitar with the only exception of the saeta and the castalera.

Seville is covered with green next to the navigable river of Guadalquivir. Seville, which is the fourth city of Spain in terms of population, gives its history through an inscription found on an old gate.

"Heracles built me, Julius Caesar bordered me with walls and towers and St. Vasilios took me".

Cordoba is the motherland of great men from the Roman Empire. In the city there is the most beautiful mosque in the world, Methkita.

Granada is well-known for its castle, Alambra. It is a real "pomegranate" hard from the outside; its unassailable walls hid from the others whatever beautiful its owners enjoyed

lunes, 24 de marzo de 2008

domingo, 16 de marzo de 2008


The Carnival in Greece usually takes place in February or March. It lasts three weeks and precedes the period of 40 days before Easter. The first week of Carnival is preparatory, the second is called "kreatini" because people fast and the third week is called "tirini" since cheese (tiri) accompanies all the meals.

During the period of the Carnival a lot of different celebrations take place. The celebrations begin on a Thursday (the date is not fixed) when people gather in their friends' houses or eat out and eat grilled meat and other delicious dishes.

In Arta a week later, on a Wednesday, we have the women's carnival parade ( there is a separate section later on).

The last Sunday before the 40-day fasting period is called "Carnival Sunday" (Kiriaki tis apokrias). On this Sunday the Holly Fathers of the Orthodox Church remind us the Second Coming of Christ and try to emphasize on the fact that God is not only a philanthropist but also a fair judge for everyone, depending on our acts. It is the last day that we eat meat whereas the whole following week we eat only dairy products until "tirini" Sunday when the Carnival ends and the 40-day fast before Christ's Resurrection begins. One of the typical customs that take place on this Sunday are the fires that are lit in squares and crossroads at night (these fires have different names like "fani", "klatharies", "kapsakies", kalologos" etc). People dance around these fires and try to jump over them wishing themselves health and good fortune. This custom takes place on other dates as well.

The next morning is Monday and it is called "Shrove Monday". It is the beginning of fasting and people go to the countryside with their families and have picnics with olives, tarama and onions.

They eat a loaf of bread called "lagana" and they try to fly kites as high as they can.

At the end of the day a traditional dancing act takes place. It is called "Gaitanaki". In the centre of a square a big pillar is put. On top of the pillar several long colourful laces are tied. Around the pillar there are 6 pairs of dancers. Each dancer holds one lace and they start dancing and singing in such a way that the laces get knitted together.

During the Carnival period a lot of people walk around in disguise wearing masks and funny costumes.

In the past, there were groups of disguised people who were walking around the streets of the town or village singing.

However, during the years this custom was forgotten and nowadays in most places there are organized parades with costumes and floats.

The basic characteristic of people in disguise is the mask which is considered a descendant of the ancient comic and satirical masks worn by actors when they were acting in comedies and satirical dramas.

They were made of clay and they were all the same.

The Carnival Parade in Arta

The Carnival Parade of Arta started in the 70s. At first both men and women took part in it. Nowadays it is organized solely by women. The costumes and floats are connected with issues of the moment and issues that are about our area. The Women's Carnival is a day of celebration that attracts a lot of people in the city centre to watch the parade.

The Custom of the Egg

In many parts of Greece people hang an egg from the ceiling and as they sit around the table they make it go around and they try to catch it with their mouth. "With an egg we close our mouth for Fasting and with an egg we open it again at Easter".

The Representation of a Shepherd's Wedding

(Vlahikos Gamos)

It is a custom that dates back to 1830. There are a lot of similarities to the spring Dionysiac celebrations of fertility and revival. The bride is a man disguised as a woman and he even has a moustache.

The basic musical instrument is the pipiza ( a kind of flute). A colourful wedding parade starts from the city or village square and foes past the neighbourhood of the "parents in law" (simpetheria) were they shave the groom and try to arrange the dowry.

Kouthounati ( men with bells)

It is a custom during which people disguised with a hood and cape walk around the village making a lot of noise and provoke people by indecent/naughty expressions.

Traditional Food

Aubergine Salad

Grill the aubergines at 200° C for one hour. Peal them and put their pith in a strainer to strain. After the liquid has gone blend them with garlic, salt and pepper, olive oil and rusk.


Different row vegetables like cucumber, carrot, cauliflower, pepper, tomato that are preserved in vinegar or salted water accompany the table of Shrove Monday along with fish roe salad (taramosalata), halvah and flatbread.


Something like a cake made of tahini, sugar and various aromatic spices and is eaten mainly during the days of fast. There are various flavors : vanilla, cocoa, honey, almond.


Melt yeast in warm water. Add some flour and make it a gruel. Cover it with a membrane and put it in a warm place for 12 hours. Sieve the flour with the salt and make a hole in the centre. Add the sugar, the oil, the yeast and two cups of tepid water. Knead until it becomes spingy. Cut it in 6 balls. Cover them and let them double in size. Then make them flat and bake them in 200° C for 15-20 minutes.


It is a light construction that is made from a lightweight frame of sticks that cross and is covered by thin paper or plastic that is glued on them and it also has a long tail. It flies high in the air with the proper handling and it is controlled from the ground with a long rope.


They cover the whole face or part of it with different designs or colours and people wear them to hide their identity. They resemble people of the politics (prime minister, minister etc) of the star system and others.

viernes, 7 de marzo de 2008


In the Greek mythology Heracles (in ancient Greek ' Hera's glory ') was a hero and DEMIGOD, son of Zeus and Alcmena and great-grandson of Perseo. In the Roman mythology he was called Hercules. It can be said that he was the biggest of the mythical Greek heroes, the paragon of the excellent masculinity, his extraordinary bent one of his attributes. He was, according to Pausanias, the last son that Zeus generated with mortal women in Greece. They tell themselves many histories on his life, being the most famous Hercules’s Twelve tasks

Birth and infancy

A few months after his birth, Hera sent two serpents to kill while he was sleeping in his cradle. Heracles strangled a serpent with every hand and was found by his babysitter playing with their exhausted bodies as if they were toys.
A version of the origin of the Milky Way is that Zeus cheated Hera so thats he was nursing the infant Heracles. When she discovered the one who he was, he separated it of her chest and a jet of her milk formed the spot that crosses the sky and that we can now see since then

Twelve tasks
In an attack of madness provoked by Hera, Heracles killed his own children and two of his nephews with his own hands. On awakening and discover the terrible acts that he had committed, he felt a terrible pain, and did not want to continue living with Mégara (other versions say that also Mégara was murdered together with his children by the madness that Hera cansed him).
In penance for this execrable action the sibyl oracle said to him that he had to carry out ten works that throe Euristeo was arranging, the man who had usurped his legitimate right to the wreath and whom more he hated. Heracles carried out all of them successfully, but Hera said to Euristeo he should think that in two of the works he had failed, since he had received help, so he arranged two more, that Heracles also completed makes a whole of twelve.

To kill Nemea's lion. 1.
To kill the hidra of Lerna's lake. 2.
To reach to Cerinia's deer. 3.
To capture to Erimanto's wild boar. 4
. To clean Augías's stables. 5.
To finish with the birds of the lake Estínfalo. 6
. To tame to the wild bull of Crete. 7.
To steal the mares of the king Diomedes de Thrace. 8.
To conquer the Amazons and to take Hipólita's belt. 9
. To kill Gerión and to steal his flocks from him. 10
. To steal the golden apples of the Garden of the Hespérides. 11
To be going to seek for Cerbero, to the hells, and to take it to Euristeo. 12


The historian and scholar Rodrigo Caro (XVIIth century) gives credit to a legend that holds that Seville was founded by the same Hercules. Though Rodrigo Caro is superseded by modern investigative archaeologists, thanks to his methods and research scientific, to the thread of Hercules' legend in the low Andalusia there exists evidently a tradition that has persisted to many centuries about the hero who, navigated rivers and seas and went out to pasture for these lands

lunes, 3 de marzo de 2008


M i tierra es Andalucía,
Y tiene ocho provincias
Unidas entre sí
Por un estatuto de autonomía.

Sevilla, fabulosa
Capital, sin playa,
Pero tiene una cosa
Su Semana Santa.

Cádiz, su puerto,
No tiene males
Con sus pueblos y carnavales.

Huelva, sus huertas,
La mayoría,
Son fresas,
Y no están vacías.

Málaga, su playa
Y sus bahías,
Ya no están las vallas
Que antes había.

Córdoba y sus ferias.
Tierra ardiente,
Con muchas fieras,
Lo pasarás bien, vente.

Granada, y su nieve,
Blanca y pura
Como su gente
Y la Alhambra dura.

Jaén, la Sierra de Cazorla,
Nacimiento del Guadalquivir,
Vete con guantes y botas…
O si no te vas a reír.

Almería, con su desierto,
Y el Cabo de Gata.
Que es bonito como un tiesto
Que de tiesto no tiene nada.
Manuel Fernández Caro

domingo, 2 de marzo de 2008


Blas Infante was a very important Andalusian because he wrote the Anthem of Andalusia. He had the idea of adopting a GREEN AND WHITE flag, documented in Al-Ándalus (the name of the region during the Moorish occupation) and a coat of arms with Hercules on it, inspired by that of Cadiz, which would together be called " The emblems of Andalusia ". Infante proposed using the tune of the popular religious song “Santo Dios”, sung by the peasants at harvest time, as the Anthem of Andalusia, inventing his own lyrics


Andalusia has celebrated its autonomy since 1980.
We celebrate this day with festive air but we must not forget aspects of the even very recent history. In 1883 Andalusia was constituted as a political entity with capacity for self-government. In 1918 the flag and the coat of arms of Andalusia were approved


Our history
Spain had a dictatorship from 1939 until 1975.
With the democracy, the constitution organizes the Spanish territory into 17 autonomous communities and 2 autonomous cities ( Ceuta y Melilla), in 1978
There is only one State and 17 communities with their own laws and symbols but they remain Spanish.