Hospitality

 
 

Zeus, the ruler of all Gods, born in the Diktaean cave and raised up in Idi Mountain on Crete, was also buried in his birthplace. Being born, raised and buried on Crete, Zeus is said to be resurrected each, live on and reign. He is a God who dies each year and is reborn even stronger, much in the same way that nature brings everything back to life in spring.

In Ancient Greece, hospitality was a virtue where care for ‘xenoi’ (strangers such as messengers from a distant land) was a divine requirement. Poor care of these people was considered a sin. Zeus of Crete became the ‘Xenios’ – the protector of visitors who makes every stranger feel welcome and at home. In today’s times, the ‘xenoi’ are not messengers, but rather the tourists that visit Crete and those who emigrate here.

‘Filoxenia’ (meaning hospitality) comes from two Greek words ‘filo’ (friend) and ‘xenia’ (stranger). It is to make a stranger one’s friend, treat him like family and offer companionship, food, lodging and all other comforts in the same manner.

The Cretan culture is dipped in hospitality- it is the only way which Cretans know how to behave. Locals immediately make you feel welcome, offer their help, advice, knowledge and generously share their belongings. It is very common to have a neighbor pop by to bring fresh eggs, fresh fruits and vegetables from their plot and even a home-made meal or dessert.

Locals hold this principle in the same light as they do virtue and honor. With this combination, ethical values are high and held by friendships and family alike.

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