Olive Oil in Greek Orthodoxy
Olive oil is used symbolically in the rituals of the Greek Orthodox Church. For example, when babies are baptised they are anointed with olive oil. In some parts of the country, unbaptised children are referred to as "aladoti" or "unoiled" -unanointed. During the marriage sacrament, one of the prayers bestowed upon the newly wed couple is that their home never be without bread or oil, the two most basic foods, the two foods with which one can always find nourishment. Indeed, no home in Greece is without olive oil. During times of hardship, olive oil and dried bread have kept Greeks alive and well.
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Greek Olive Oil Soap
Natural Greek Olive Oil Soap is known to moisturize and soften your skin without exposing it to the chemical additives typically present in regular soap. Produced in Greece for centuries, it is recommended for sensitive skin.
A Word on Olive Varieties
There are dozens of olive varieties in Greece, and by and large oil olives are different varieties than the ones cultivated to be cured as table olives. Oil olives tend to be smaller. Generally, they are harvested from the end of October, in some places through February, depending on the part of the country.
Olive Oil in Greek Folk Culture
In Greek popular culture, olive oil is no less significant. For one, so deeply rooted is olive oil in the Greek psyche, which we don't even bother qualifying it -Greeks use the generic "oil" to refer to olive oil, the way some Asian cultures use the word for rice to refer generically to food.
The Olive Tree in Antiquity
The olive remained a staple in Greece throughout antiquity, and many images of the olive harvest are depicted in the art of Classical antiquity. Olive oil had many uses in antiquity.
The earliest evidence of the Olive Tree
As far back as the Minoan civilization, which flourished in Crete and in the Aegean some 5,000 years ago, when the earliest written languages came into existence, there were already symbols for the olive tree, for olives and for olive oil.
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