In the Antiquity of the Greek humanism and contrary to global theocracy, the organized Olympic Games were the most important of all Greek and International Games. At the same time they were the greatest sporting and religious celebration in honor of Zeus.
Apart from their athletic and religious character, the Games had political content as well. This is because during the Games political discussions were also organized every year in the three sanctuaries of ancient Greece, that Delphi, the Isthmus and Nemea, and every fourth year at Olympia. In this manner the Greeks did politics and diplomacy.
The fame of the sanctuary of Olympia was spread throughout the Greek world and flourished as a center nationwide, in which the Greeks had the opportunity to communicate with each other, exchange ideas, form opinions, to teach and to be taught. The Olympics highlighted the ethnic, cultural and spiritual unity of the ancient Greeks. During the games hostilities ceased, exalting them into the Panhellenic symbol of peace and unity.
In the historical evolution of mankind, the Olympic Games were held for the first time in 776 BC in Ancient Olympia and were held every four years during the summer months (July-August). They lasted five days and included the following sports: road racing, Wrestling, Boxing, Pankration, Chariot and the pentathlon, which consisted of the sports: road racing, Jumping, Fighting, Discus and Javelin.
They were conducted at the Stadium, the Palestra and the Hippodrome in front of thousands of spectators from all the cities of the known Greek world. The winners were crowned with a wreath of wild olive branch, the kotinos, and enjoyed special honors from their homeland. The participants followed common sporting rules, which were established for the conduct of the games.
They were abolished in 393 AD by decree of Emperor Theodosius, when the Byzantine Empire was at the height of theocracy. Thus, an entire athletic culture of the Greek anthropocentric movement with its extensions, which lasted 1,169 years, vanished.
The modern Olympic Games
In 1896 revive in Athens the Olympic Games only in terms of their athletic part, in the form of international sports competitions, following the actions of Demetrius Vikelas and Pierre de Coubertin.
In the first modern Olympic Games, that took place with great splendor in the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, participated 295 athletes from fifteen countries.The sports included in the competition were both part of the ancient Olympic Games as well as the then modern athletics. Thus, with the new athletic data, the Olympic spirit, the spirit of sportsmanship, peace and humanism did not stay in its native Greece, but spread around the world. In 1936 was introduced the lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame in Olympia and its transfer to the stadium were the Games would take place by means of torchbearers.
After the revival of the Olympic Games there was a continuous modernization of sports, which gradually removed them from the Olympic athletic tradition. At the same time, significant are the economic, social and political dimensions they indirectly received through the years. In the hundred and more years of their existence they have gradually acquired gigantic proportions and evolved following the dynamic growth of the athletics and the socioeconomic and political conditions in the modern era. In this way the Olympics have become the most important sports event of mankind, in which thousands of athletes participate from almost all countries of the world and are watched by billions of viewers. However, the evolution, gigantism and commercialization of the modern international Olympic Games take place at the expense of the Olympic ideal. We have now been removed from the Olympic ideal; we have lost the values of tradition.
Patras, June 2013
Prof. Dr. Pantelis Georgogiannis University of Patras, Department of Primary Education
Márkos Vamvakáris (Greek: Μάρκος Βαμβακάρης; born May 10, 1905 in Ano Syros, or Ánō Khōra, on Syros Island; died February 8, 1972 in Athens, Greece), was a rebetiko musician. He is universally referred to by rebetiko writers and fans simply by his first name, Márkos. The great significance of Vamvakaris for the rebetiko is also reflected by his nickname: the "patriarch" of the rebetiko"
Santorini was named by the Latin Empire in the thirteenth century, and is a reference to Saint Irene, from the name of the old cathedral in the village of Perissa. Before then, it was known as Kallístē (Καλλίστη, "the most beautiful one"), Strongýlē (Greek: Στρογγύλη, "the circular one") or Thēra. The name Thera was revived in the nineteenth century as the official name of the island and its main city, but the colloquial name Santorini is still in popular use. During the Ottoman Empire's domination of the Aegean Sea, the Turkish exonym for the island was "Santurin" or "Santoron". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santorini
The Acropolis of Athens (Greek: Ακρόπολη Αθηνών) is an ancient citadel located on a high rocky outcrop above the city of Athens and containing the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance, the most famous being the Parthenon. The word acropolis comes from the Greek words ἄκρον (akron, "edge, extremity") andπόλις (polis, "city"). Although there are many other acropoleis in Greece, the significance of the Acropolis of Athens is such that it is commonly known as "The Acropolis" without qualification. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acropolis_of_Athens
In Greece and Cyprus, the meat is typically pork or occasionally chicken, with veal gyros, occasionally found, referred to as "doner" (ντονέρ). In Athens, and most of Greece, a "pita gyro" will contain tzatziki, tomato, onion and fried potatoes in addition to the meat. However some places offer different alternatives to the classic ingredients. tzatziki sauce as a dressing, whereas the chicken dressings vary from shop to shop but are most often a variant on mayonnaise mixed with mustard, called "σως" (sauce) in Greek.
Pitas are available in at least three types: 'plain', 'Cypriot', and 'Arabic' in some chain restaurants, however in most places only 'Plain' is offered. 'Plain' pita is around 20 cm in diameter and the thickest of the three. 'Cypriot' pita is crisp and has larger size, and is split like pocket bread. 'Arabic' pitas are crisp, and the flattest and largest. Gyros are also served in sandwich-type bread in northern Greece.
It is said that it is in Thessaloniki that one will find the biggest pita and gyros;[by whom?] there, an order will typically include tomato, onion, fried potatoes, mustard and/or ketchup and an optional sauce, most commonly tzatziki or ktipití (a feta cheese and hot pepper dip), in addition to the meat. "Russian salad" (a mixture of diced pickles and mayonnaise) and "Hungarian salad" (a mixture of mayonnaise and diced bacon) are also popular.
'Because I love those people who love life. Those whose their sorrow is their power. Those whose eyes are looking without guile and guiltiness, even if the passage of time was relentless to them. Those who know that they do not know eveything, because everything is not learned. Those who drain from nothing, eveything. For themselves and all the other people they love. And they do not get tired, seeking out each day's beauty, in people's smiles, in hugging animals, in a black and white photo, in a colourful laundry.' Odysseas Elytis - Greek Poet
Clean Monday is a public holiday in Greece and Cyprus, where it is celebrated with outdoor excursions, the consumption of shellfish and other fastingfood, a special kind of azyme bread, baked only on that day, named "lagana" (Greek: λαγάνα) and the widespread custom of flying kites. Eating meat, eggs and dairy products is traditionally forbidden to Orthodox Christians throughout Lent, with fish being eaten only on major feast days, but shellfish is permitted in European denominations. This has created the tradition of eating elaborate dishes based on seafood (shellfish, molluscs, fish roe etc.).