Celebrate life and the beauty of the world with a vacation in Crete in 2021.
The new year customarily marks new beginnings. And in light of all the gloom and doom, the world has experienced throughout 2020, who doesn’t crave for a fresh start in 2021? Alas, just pressing the reset button doesn’t really work in real life. But there is hope on the horizon. The much-anticipated antidote to the pandemic has finally arrived, and, protestations aside, many countries around the globe have already started vaccinating their population. No doubt this is going to be a lengthy, strenuous process. Acquiring the desired immunity won’t happen overnight. But then again neither was Rome built in a day.
A magical time of the year since the olden days, Christmas in Crete comes with a wealth of enchanting customs and traditions, some of them surviving up until today
Another year is drawing to a close. Normally at this time, we’d be preparing to celebrate Christmas in Crete with typical Cretan, high spirited ardor. Alas on “the year that never was”, festivities will look and feel quite different. There’ll be no big friends and family gatherings, no carol rounds, no all-night parties. Even the cherished, annual Chania Santa Run, won’t be taking place in 2020.
Image from www.newsbomb.gr
Whether hard fact or part legend, the tale of the 12 Young Rulers, is an integral part of Cretan history, continuing to inform locals’ mores and beliefs up to nowadays.
With aeons of intriguing, more often than not tumultuous, Cretan history inscribed in their local traditions and way of life, Cretans come across as fierce, proud and imposing. Not unlike true nobles, that is. In fact, while travelling around Crete, it is not uncommon to hear ageing villagers asserting that they are from blue blood: The descendants of aristocracy that once existed in Crete. Before dismissing their claims as old peoples’ ramblings, read on below for one of the most fascinating chapters of Cretan history: The tale of the 12 Young Rulers, though it is in some bits rather loosely documented, it demonstrates that nobility did exist in Crete from the 11th century and even beyond the Venetian era.
Exotic beaches, snow-capped mountains, dramatic gorges and Edenlike plains. World-famous ancient monuments and Unesco heritage sites. Emblematic food, renowned for its health benefits and taste, along with euphoric, potent drink. Proud yet affable locals and an age-old culture of hospitality embedded in everyday life. There are myriads of reasons to love Crete, and the unique Cretan customs and folkways are among the most thrilling. Take the traditional Cretan wedding for instance: An intense, typically multi-day affair to remember, it is marked by enthusiasm and abundance: Food, drink, music, dance, merrymaking, even celebratory gunfire, come in copious amounts. The same motif applies to the guest list. In the case of the traditional Cretan wedding, the more is the merrier indeed.
From the mythological origins of Zeus to the mysterious Minoans with their labyrinthine palaces, truth and fiction have seamlessly blended in Crete from time immemorial. But this is what makes this island, the largest one in Greece, one of the most captivating destinations on the planet.
Granted its incredible cuisine, exotic beaches and ample opportunities for fun-filled adventures, lure a lion’s share of visitors every year. Yet it is Crete’s historical sites, those legendary stomping grounds of men, gods and heroes, that have sparked human imagination since the Iron Age mythographers, that make the difference. Indeed Crete wouldn’t be the same without its one of a kind history and culture. Whether you are into mythology, a lover of literature and art, a history buff or just a worshiper of the sun, a visit to Crete’s historical sites will leave its imprint for life. At the Oscar Suites & Village we are certainly proud of our Cretan heritage and tradition. That’s why we love sharing with you, our dear friends and guests, via our monthly blog posts, the scoop on what to see and do on your visit to Crete. Read on for Crete’s historical sites and the alluring myths that surround them.
Sea-sun-sand -and fun- aside, Crete owes a large part of its allure to the legends of its past. Featuring a fascinating collection of age-old tales and stories hailing from the depths of Minoan prehistory, Mythical Crete continues to capture the imagination of modern visitors.
From divine kings, bull-headed monsters, faux-cows and heroic humans to wild nature goddesses, snake-waving priestesses and the world’s first robot, Mythical Crete never fails to amaze us at the Oscar Suites & Village. In our recent blog posts, we have travelled to the birthplace of the omnipotent ruler of men and gods, Zeus. We also took a peek into his amorous escapades with Europa, the stunning Phoenician princess who would become Crete’s first queen; and then looked into the connections between her son, King Minos, the mighty Minotaur, ingenious Daedelus and valiant Theseus. This time we will be exploring Mythical Crete’s powerful female deities and its gigantic proto-robot.
Following Greece’s successful management of the coronavirus crisis, travelling to Crete resumes once again. In line with the strictest international health & safety standards, the Oscar Suites & Village is proud to announce its reopening for the 2020 season.
Blue skies and seas. Golden beaches gleaming under the brilliant sun. Fantastic food and potent drink. Ancient monuments and historic sites. Intricate monasteries and world-class museums. Exotic lagoons and awe-inspiring ravines. Fertile plains, snow-capped mountains and African-like seascapes, within the space of mere hours. Days filled with action, fun, laughter and much-needed bonding with family and friends. Travelling to Crete is all that and much more! Of course, in light of the latest, perhaps unprecedented, pandemic, the whole world came to a halt. Life looked nothing like we knew before during the previous months. Yet Greece timely took all necessary measures thereby successfully impeding the COVID-19 spread within its borders. As a result, it is now one of the safest destinations worldwide and one of the first countries to gradually return to normalcy, too. So the good news is that Crete, Greece’s largest and most diversified island, is once again receiving visitors in search of the sun, sea, and sand triptych. After all, following all this hardship, isolation, anxiety and gloom, a spot of pure, unadulterated nonchalance and joy amidst glorious surroundings is more imperative than ever. Travelling to Crete, then, might be just what the doctor ordered! What’s more, international carriers have resumed their connections with the island as of July 1st, so travelling to Crete is once again made possible too.
Intricate, intriguing and enlightening, Cretan myths and legends, hailing from the depths of time, are intertwined with Cretan history and culture. This beguiling collection of stories of ancient gods and goddesses, beasts, men and heroes are a timeless treasure trove: To be passed on from one generation to the next; richly narrated, often dramatized and repeatedly embellished; cherished by young and old alike; providing powerful insights about life, relationships, religion and culture in ancient Crete and beyond. Here we shall look at the myths of King Minos and the mighty Minotaur, their relationship with the omnipotent ruler of men and gods, Zeus and their connection with antiquity’s other superpower, Athens.
Part 1: Zeus Birthplace
After 4.000 years Cretan Mythology still fuels the imagination of the travellers of today. Read on for the lowdown.
Travelling to Crete means days and nights filled with adventure and wonder. Sea, sun and fun aside there is another good reason: Greece’s largest island is the backdrop of a collection of mythical stories of gods and demigods, men, heroes, kings and beasts, and even the world’s first robot: Epic sagas whose origins are largely lost into the depths of Minoan prehistory. Indeed for the Minoans, the sublime was everywhere, in everything, throughout the sacred Cretan land.
At the crossroads of East and West, Crete is steeped in fascinating customs and traditions. All of us at the Oscar Suites & Village, are certainly proud of the island we are lucky to call home. That’s why we love sharing its history, heritage and myths with you. Until it is time to welcome as many of you as possible in our family-style, studios, suite, and apartments in Chania, just steps from the sandy, blue flag awarded beach of Agia Marina-Platanias, read on to get a taste of the real Crete. Here’s all you need to know about one of its most powerful emblems: The Cretan dagger.
Slightly curved resembling a semi crescent; varying in size, from a very small, toy-like knife to an impressive half-meter or even longer saber. Invariably enclosed in intricate, gold and silver cases (foukari) -their bespoke patterns and plumes speaking volumes about their owners. With stainless steel blades often carved with mantinades, and ornate handles (manika), typically shaped like a bird’s beak or a V, and made of animal bone, horns or ivory.