Politismos eMagazine | Politismos Museum of Greek History
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Author: Politismos Museum of Greek History

Flavorful Tsoureki Muffins

01.04.2016 in Gastronomy

Flavorful Tsoureki Muffins   Directions  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees, and grease a muffin pan.  In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients. (Flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, mastiha, cardamom, and orange zest.)  In a medium pot, add the milk, butter, and mahlepi. Whisk to combine over medium heat. Remove from heat, and let cool.  Add the egg, vanilla, and orange juice to the milk mixture and combine. (I use my hands to mix the dough together.)  Fill the muffin pan. You should be able to get 12 muffins out of this recipe, if not more.  Bake for 20 minutes or…

Cloudy Day in Athens

01.04.2016 in Arts & Culture

Cloudy Day in Athens    Vasilis Tsistanis was songwriter and bouzouki player. At the age of 15, he wrote his first song, the first of hundreds he would write during his professional career. One such legendary piece was “Synnefiasmeni Kyriaki” (Cloudy Sunday), inspired by the dismay he felt after German troops arrived in Greece in 1941 and incidents he witnessed thereafter.   The following quote is from an interview entitled “S. Gauntlett: An interview with Vasilis Tsitsanis.” published, in the Spring and Summer of 1975, by the Hellenic Society of Melbourne, Australia:    “The occupation was for me an inexhaustible…

An April Day in Nafplio

01.04.2016 in Travel

An April Day in Nafplio    If the month of April had to be described in only one word, the word should be change. In the heart of spring, April is the month when the flowers blossom, the days get longer, and our hearts and mood become brighter. Looking back at all the Aprils of my life I realize that a certain pattern is repeated; my delighted heart has always related spring with day trips to beautiful Nafplio. April feeds my need for a change of scenery. Nafplio is my favorite escape; this is the place where I want to begin…

May Day: (Protomaya) in Greece

01.04.2016 in Arts & Culture

May Day: (Protomaya)  in Greece    When talking about May Day, or “Protomaya,” colorful wild flowers, children making flower wreaths, picnics in the countryside, and the smell of flourishing almonds immediately come to mind. In Greece, as in most cultures of western Europe, May 1st marks the end of the cold winter and the beginning of spring and rebirth. For many centuries, “Protomaya” has been regarded as the celebration of flowers and nature. May 1st is also International Workers Day and is now considered an official holiday in Greece.    “Protomaya,” literally translated as the first day of May, is one…

Giannis Haroulis

01.04.2016 in Arts & Culture

Giannis Haroulis   Giannis Haroulis is one of the most well-known modern artists of Greece. His work is a beautiful fusion of Greek folk and traditional Cretan blended with a bit of rock and modern sound.    Born just outside Lasithi, in the village of Exo Lakonia, Haroulis was first introduced, at the age of 6, to playing music by his father who was a sculptor.  It was at this time he learned to play the lute (laouto).  He studied traditional folk music and began performing in local festivals. In 2002, and only in his early 20s, Haroulis was invited…

Magiritsa Traditional Soup

01.04.2016 in Gastronomy

Magiritsa Traditional Soup   Magiritsa is a traditional soup prepared and feasted upon by Orthodox Greeks after attending the Resurrection services for Pascha (Easter Sunday).  It is a rich lamb soup eaten to break the 40 day fast.  The recipe varies slightly in some regions, with variations including tomato or carrots, and many modern recipes have traded out the traditional lamb intestines, liver and kidneys for shanks. Regardless your ingredients preference, the trick to this recipe is to cook slowly.  Crock pots are a great option!    Ingredients:  2 lbs of Lamb liver and/or kidneys (lamb shanks may be used…

The tradition of Easter Lampades

01.04.2016 in Arts & Culture

The Tradition of  Easter Lampades     Holding Easter lampades (candles), a popular Easter tradition in Greece, dates back to early Christian times. The ancient Christian church baptized new members of the church on Holy Saturday, during which time each member of the church held a lampada. New converts carried their own lampades as they entered the church for baptism by priests.    The lampada symbolizes the new light of Christ that came to illuminate the soul of the converts or newly-baptized. It symbolizes the light Christians believe Christ brought to humanity when he conquered death and the darkness through his…

Komboloi Museum

01.04.2016 in Arts & Culture

Komboloi Museum    In April 1998, Mr. and Mrs. Evangelinos established the first, and still unique in the world, Komboloi Museum. The komboloi are strings of beads, often referred to as worry beads or prayer beads.     The couple began their journey on the “road of Komboloi” in 1963 with a visit to Alexandria, Egypt. Their research continued over the years, bringing them in contact with Hinduists, Buddhists, Muslims, Catholics and Greeks (from Asia Minor, Syria, Egypt etc.) and gaining insight about these wonderful strings of beads.  Over time they built a unique collection of almost a thousand komboloi, with…

Karonis Distillery Museum

01.04.2016 in Arts & Culture

Karonis Distillery Museum    A family run business, the Karonis Distillery has been operated by five generations – 145 years – of Karonis.  Today, it is under the management of Fotis and Yiannis Karonis.  They produce Ouzo, Tsipouro, and Masticha, all distilled in modern copper stills. They also produce a distinguished cherry liqueur made with cherries from the Arcadia region.    Visitors have the opportunity to see distillery artifacts, including letters, books, machinery, and equipment dating back to 1870.  One special piece that cannot be missed is the first distiller purchased by the Karonis, along with the invoice for this…

Seven Years of the Greek Military Junta: (1967-1974)

01.04.2016 in History

Seven Years of the Greek Military Junta: (1967-1974)    To understand what brought about the Junta in Greece, it is necessary to take a step back in history, back to the period following World War II, when civil war brought Greece to its knees, destroying everything and decimating the population in countless ways.     This civil war resulted in demonstrations, strikes, and riots almost daily. In 1947, in order to ensure that Greece, Turkey, and Iran did not fall under Soviet influence, the United States formulated the Truman Doctrine and began actively supporting a series of authoritarian governments. The civil war…