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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

May Day 2020 Greece Inspires Love of Nature

Catherine Tsounis
Catherine Tsounis
Contributing Editor The copyrights for these articles are owned by the Hellenic News of America. They may not be redistributed without the permission of the owner. The opinions expressed by our authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hellenic News of America and its representatives.

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Greek-American News

Protomagia (May 1st) is International Labor Day in Greece. It is a holiday where people traditionally go to the countryside for picnics, to fly kites and to gather flowers. Normal celebrations are different during the 2020 Corona virus Pandemic. The normal celebrations will be different this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Roman artifact from Tunis, relating to May Day, Athens Royal Gardens.

Erica Haralambithou and Doris Christopoulou, Athens retired professionals, on May 4th said “We are still staying indoors reading books, cooking, walking around the garden and thinking of the next weeks. Nobody knows what to expect.” Antonis Kontos, scholar and community leader, shared Photos of ivy, from his Kavala garden, Asia Minor and Tunis Greek and Roman artifacts from Royal Gardens of Athens.

The custom of Protomagia has its roots in ancient Greece, celebrating Spring and nature with a flower festival. May, according to Greek folklore, has two meanings: The good and the bad, rebirth and death. The custom celebrates the final victory of the summer against winter as the victory of life against death goes back to the ancient years. This day was also dedicated to the goddess of agriculture Dimitra and her daughter Persephone, who this day emerges from the underworld and comes to earth. Her coming to earth from Hades marks the blooming of nature and the birth of summer.1

References:

  1. https://greekcitytimes.com/2020/05/01/protomagia-traditions-and-customs/
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