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Biennale of Western Balkans, Ioannina, Greece

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  /  Old Calendarists of Piraeus

Old Calendarists of Piraeus

Less than a century ago, around 1924 with the adaptation of the Christian calendar to a more universal one, there was a schism in the Christian orthodox community; refusing to adopt in change, some communities maintained their calendar and celebrations accordingly. In the case of the Old Calendarists of Peiraias, a diverse community at the crossroad of migration waves and people fleeing war and poverty, there were created a church and a cultural space to celebrate their religious practices. Beyond the religious rituals, a different kind of knowledge was also shared around healing, with mostly plant-based medical treatment. For example, for flu /asthma, pneumonia, using eucalyptus and lavender was medicine, by breathing their steam and (usually) chanting simultaneously. Lemon cups treat skin burn, cotton bags dipped in mountain tea clean the eyes, chamomile cures bacteria and are used for healing women’s reproduction system, as just some examples of their practices.