Kalliope Ballas is a fashion designer with a prissy calico cat, who falls and hits her head, then wakes up able to read minds but only through the power of touch. A nightmare for a germaphobe. Messy Detective Nikos Stevens lives next door with his slobbery saint Bernard.
Think Monk meets My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
Nik is half Greek and Kalli is adopted by a Greek family. For the meddling mamas, that’s Greek enough. That got me thinking about big crazy families. I’m not Greek, but I am fascinated by their history, tradition, and culture. In my research, I found ten Greek traditions.
- Epiphany – Catching the cross
On January 6th the Greek people celebrate Jesus Christ and his baptism. The priest throws a special cross into a blessed body of water, and the people jump in to find it. The person who finds the cross and gives it back to the priest is blessed for the entire year.
On the days after the Epiphany, people wear scary masks to exorcise evil spirits from the city. People passing by give them coins as payment for getting rid of the evil spirits. The whole city then gathers to eat, drink and dance in celebration.
- Apokries – Greek Carnival
The carnival is celebrated in the street with parades and masquerades. The name Apokries means avoiding meat, so the fast begins the day after the carnival starts which is between February and March and lasts for three weeks to recognize the change of season from winter to spring.
The word Tsikno means the smell of the grilled meat, and Pempti means Thursday. So, the first day of the carnival will take place on a Thursday and the people eat as much meat as possible before the fast starts.
- Kathara Deftera – Clean Monday
Clean Monday is the end of the carnival and the start of lent which lasts for forty days. The people give up meat every day during lent, eating lots of seafood as well as Lagana which is a flatbread baked only on Clean Monday. The people fly kites that day as well, symbolizing the catharsis of the soul.
- Virgin Mary Snakes in Cephalonia
On August 15th a church service is held for the Dormition of Virgin Mary. Every year at the church of the Virgin Mary in Markopoulo village, little snakes appear inside and outside of the church, then disappear at the end of the day. There is a legend that says once when pirates attacked the monastery, nuns prayed to be rescued and snakes appeared, chasing the pirates away. Villagers try to touch them to bring good luck to their families.
- The Evil Eye
The evil eye is a superstition. If someone wants you to be ill or have bad luck, they think evil thoughts and give you the evil eye. The person receiving the evil eye ends up with a headache and bad luck. In order to get rid of the evil eye, the person has to say a special incantation passed down through generations three times. To avoid the evil eye and bad luck, it is customary to spit on someone, throw salt over your shoulder, and wear an evil eye charm.
Martis means March, so on the first day of March, the Greeks wear a red and white bracelet made out of a thread called Martis. The bracelet is worn the entire month to celebrate the beginning of spring. Red symbolizes passion and life while white means purity. The bracelet protects against spring diseases and is tied to a tree at the first sign of spring.
- The Christmas Boat
The Greek people traditionally decorated a boat instead of a tree at Christmas time because of their deep connection to the sea in honor of sailors returning home to their families. Many cities today display a Christmas boat in the main square during the holiday.
- Plate Smashing
The smashing of plates is a famous Greek tradition. When people are having a great time, they smash plates to show their joy and appreciation for the music being played mostly at private parties and small taverns. On public entertainment stages, flowers are thrown at the singer’s feet instead of plates to prevent injuries.
I’m giving away a signed copy of TWO CENTS OF DOOM (book 2 in the Kalli Ballas Mystery series coming out on April 19th) and a basket of goodies. Comment on a tradition your family follows for a chance to win. Good luck & happy reading.
A Kalli Ballas Mystery #2
Kalli Ballas—an introverted OCD fashion designer who can only read minds through the power of touch—finds herself trying to clear the name of the loud and boisterous detective’s “Ma” of a murder charge, even though it’s obvious Kalli and Detective Dreamy don’t stand a chance.
Kalli and her prissy calico cat have finally warmed up to the half-Greek detective’s brash ways and big slobbery St. Bernard, but there are just some things that are impossible to overcome. Like his ex-girlfriend, who’s full Greek, with an unstoppable mama on a mission, showing up in Clearview, Connecticut, ready to wreak havoc on everyone. His ex is claiming she’s pregnant, and he’s the proud papa. When she winds up dead, his ma becomes the number one suspect because she was the last person the victim was with and it’s known she doesn’t trust the girl. The detective’s world is turned upside down, especially when he finds out his ex wasn’t even pregnant.
Kalli hasn’t forgiven Nik, but she adores his ma. The only thing left to do is to take matters into her own hands, literally. She will use her gift and turn the tables on the killer to save the detective and clear his mother’s name. In the end, the truth will set the detective free, but will it be too late to pick up where he and Kalli left off?
Mystery Cozy | Mystery Woman Sleuth [Oliver-Heber Books, On Sale: April 19, 2022, e-Book, ISBN: 2940160915746 / ]
Kari Lee Townsend is a National Bestselling Author of mysteries & a tween superhero series. She also writes romance and women's fiction as Kari Lee Harmon. With a background in English education, she’s now a full-time writer, wife to her own superhero, mom of 3 sons, 1 darling diva, 1 daughter-in-law & 2 lovable fur babies. These days you'll find her walking her dogs or hard at work on her next story, living a blessed life.
12 comments posted.
I still put together an Easter basket for my grown children - just like I still fill a Christmas stocking for them - keeping family traditions is important to me.
(Linda Gawthrop 11:03am April 12)
Despite being in their teens the kids still have to find their hidden Easter baskets
on Easter Sunday
(Tracy Urschler 10:46pm April 12)