Crete – Cherry Festival
Music; Ambience: Greek music, Crete, bouzouki, lyra, oud, music, gunshots
Every June, the village of Karanos on the island of Crete celebrates its cherry harvest. They honor their traditions with a blend of ceremony, music, dancing, and great food. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. The celebration begins with a blessing of a priest.
ambience: Cretan songs, men’s voices, acapella
And then the several hundred villagers of Karanos welcome about a thousand guests to a banquet in which many local delicacies are served, including two kinds of cherries.
ambience: greek music, Crete, bouzouki, lyra, oud
There is a cherry eating contest, a poetry competition, and non-stop dancing. With their arms on each others shoulders, a line of dancers snakes around the stage. Sometimes one of the men dancing in the front of the line will leap high into the air, slapping his heels mid-flight.
ambience: gunshots, solo singing, glasses clinking, drinks
The musicians perform on the bouzouki, the oud and the lyra, which is a three stringed instrument, bowed like a violin and held vertically on the lap of a seated player. The dancing and music goes on for hours, punctuated every once in a while by the sound of gunshots, as someone fires off a round of blanks. It’s just an expression of exuberance amidst a party that’ll last until late in the evening, celebrating not only a harvest but a rich cultural tradition.
Pulse of the Planet is presented by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.