Superstition/Fable – Greek


Superstition: You are not supposed to sow on the eve of a Greek Holiday.

Story: On the eve of a holiday you’re not supposed to sow and it has something to do with if you prick your finger and bleed, then it is unholy. My YaYa (Greek for Grandmother) told me this story. Her older sister in Greece was a seamstress. She had a big order due and she wasn’t down with her order so she asked YaYa to come help her with the order. She started sowing. The sun goes down and it gets dark. Around midnight she goes to bed and hears a woman moaning. She looks outside and nobody is there. She looks outside again and sees nothing. She looked outside for a third time and they both see a woman who is very white who has an arrow through her chest w/ blood. The next day they go to church and the priest told my YaYa the story about how there was a saint that died. And they believed they saw the ghost of the Saint on the eve of a holiday (Nichelle was not sure what holiday it was). That night warned them to not break religious doctrine.

The story originated from a Greek Orthodox superstition which states, “one is not supposed to sow on the eve of a holiday”. The story that Nichelle told was an experience that her grandmother had when she was a child on the night before the particular holiday. This story was passed down to Nichelle’s grandmother’s children and grandchildren as a warning to not sow on the eve of a Holiday. One is not supposed to sow on the eve of a holiday because it is considered a disservice to the saints of that given holiday.

This superstition and accompanied story seem to be quite exaggerated to those who do not believe in ghosts or the consequences of ignoring a superstition. However, I do believe that those who do believe in superstitions will follow this particular belief, especially after hearing a story like Nichelle’s Ya Ya told. Her story shows supportive evidence of what could happen if you disobey a particular Greek Orthodox belief. I believe this superstition also supports the importance of resting before a Greek holiday, which is an important belief that Greek culture values. One is not supposed to work strenuously before celebrating a religious holiday.