The small apples of


Kofinas whitebeams
(2 votes)

Atop the highest peak of Asterousia, Kofinas, stands the church of the Holy Cross and is accessed through a steep trail. On the Feast of Holy Cross, on September 14, dozens of people climb up there to participate in a ritual that has its roots in the Minoan times, when nature and trees were worshiped.

On the north side of the mountain there are three perennial whitebeams (trees of the species Sorbus umbellata), which the locals call "militses" (small apple trees). On the day before, the locals collect the fruits that resemble small apples (in cherry dimensions). In the morning, they transfer the "apples" in a basket on top of Kofinas and place them in front of the priest.

At the end of the doxology, the priest puts the basket on his head three times and then blesses the fruits. He then gives them to the participants as "holy bread". Many of them drain the fruits and use them as a medicine, etc.

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