Tuesday, January 17, 2006

did the kalikatzaroi visit you over the holidays?

i have had an itchy hand for days but i won't even go into the details of how it is fueling my rabies paranoia.

rabies aside, trying to figure out why the itchiness, i entered "itchy hand" into google. the first site that came up was, "You're Guide to Greece and Cyprus". go figure.

this is a very silly site! it has greek superstitions and quotes, bits of mythology and history, jokes and recipes. i'm learning very useful information from it, like the following:


In Greek superstition these are little demons or goblins that come on the earth for twelve days beginning on Christmas and ending their visit on Epiphany. They are thought to not commit any major harm to humanity other than carrying on mischievous pranks. The crimes that they commit are usually quite minor such as riding on a persons back, or extinguishing fires. Around this time period scratches on the walls or fire places are considered to foretell the presence of these little men.

As the Kalikatzaroi are demons in order to prevent them from entering a household during this twelve day period some people dip crosses into basil and holy water and sprinkle the rooms of their home. It is believed that the Kalikatzaroi are fearful of holy water and will not enter a house that is blessed.

The Kalikatzaroi are said to enter a house from the chimney in a similar manner as "Santa Claus", to prevent the Kalikatzaroi from entering a house during this period fire places are kept burning all day long.

The most notable story of the Kalikatzaroi is the "Story of the Tree of Life." The tree of life is considered as the base of the world, "The support which the world is build on" if the tree is cut down the world will come to an end. The Kalikatzaroi for the span of the whole year can be found chopping at the tree of life trying to cut it down and bring an end to the world. When the Kalikatzaroi have almost succeeded in their task and the world stands on the support of merely a strand of wood Christmas arrives. The Kalikatzaroi then run up to the earth to cause their mischief.

The Kalikatzaroi arrive with their leader Koutsavli who rides on a crippled horse the day before Christmas. When the Kalikatzaroi see the priest begin the blessing of the waters on Epiphany their mischief comes to an end as they run back to the depths of the earth in a panic. When back in the depths of the earth they are shocked to find that the tree of life has replenished itself. The Kalikatzaroi then begin the task of cutting down the tree once again, only to have the same thing happen to them year after year.

In the past Kalikatzaroi were used mostly as a fairy tale to scare little children. Though they were considered to commit pranks such as messing up a house some of the pranks were not always bad. In some areas of Greece nuts would be thrown into the houses only to be picked up by the children. Little pranks such as this and other weird occurrences were considered actions of these little men!

* * * * *

so anyway, i still don't know why i have an itchy hand or why the vet has turned my life into paranoid misery, but perhaps it's all because the kalikatzaroi pulled some pranks over the holidays.


Miss Carnivorous said...

When I was 7 our cat Lady, who's beauty disguised a vicious hatred of all things rodent, caught a chipmunk. My mother managed to rescue the chipmunk before it needed to spend time in the "pet hospital" that we used for such occasions. My mother took the chimpmunk out to the woods to release it. I watched in horror as the ungrateful chipmunk attacked my mother, in slow motion, biting her finger with all it's tiny might. I knew at that moment that the chipmunk was RABID!!! I had seen the movie To Kill a Mockingbird. I found the scene with the RABID dog most disturbing and it was imprinted in my mind's eye for all time. We lived in the woods and I had been warned of the danger of RABID animals. And now, my own Mother was herself, RABID. I knew only that I had to protect myself from contact with her saliva and I would be safe. So, for weeks I refused to let her kiss me goodnight, or goodbye. I had to make sure that she was free of RABIES, before I accept her affections again. She was offended, even hurt, but I knew I had done the right thing.

zoe krylova said...

thanks for sharing. . .

well, so, did your mom end up being rabid? did she get the shots?

i do avoid my cat's saliva. i just like to pat him sometimes. if he goes without affection then he'll start acting rabid anyway. i always wash my hands after giving him a good snuggle session, which is probably why i'm itchy. i've never washed my hands so often in my life.

from the majority of what i've read, once rabies reaches the saliva the animal (or human) will clearly be showing signs of completely losing it. at that point you know for sure to avoid contact.