On New Year’s Eve, the villagers would go out with their donkeys and sell myrtles, spruce and askyloskares or wild onions. It was necessary to decorate the houses with these greenery throughout the Twelfth Day. In fact, when these greenery were decorated with cotton, they gave a winter snowy atmosphere.
Today, the custom of koutsounokara or agiovasilitsa is maintained, which gives a lot of joy to the children when they “turn” to give them.
This is the wild onion, a plant with a bulb, which is called a dogwood and today it is also called a queen, because of St. Basil. Also, ascilokara, skilokara, asculokara and rare skinokara. It is the well-known Scilla plant . (See. Elias Tsitselis, KEFALLINIA Composite, 3 rd vol., Athens 2003, pp. 79-80, 140), Cf Heldreich , s.70 and Dalloporta , 48, who also curative properties for hydrops affords attached fyto., and Theocritus, 5, 121.
It is considered a symbol and emblem of time, because without being replanted it grows leaves on its own. Thus it foretells the continuous course of the house and the revival, against any calamity. Prevention for the power of the onion comes from antiquity. Our ancestors believed that it protected them from disease, from evil from disasters and generally from Basque.
It is, as we have said, known since ancient times, with the same and unchanging habits, as there are reports that on the front door of Pythagoras there was always this bulb nailed. Dioskourides describes it (On the subject of Medicine B, 171) “It is even a painkiller all hung in front of the doors “. Therapeutic properties were also observed and considered beneficial for asthma, tuberculosis, dysentery, cough. Used in large doses to kill rodents.
With all the above we understand why the wild onion became a symbol of the rebirth of time. Nowadays, when the landlord receives it from the children who share it, he puts it in the icons or hangs it on the front door or on the ceiling as they used to do.
Of course, with this name, that is, Santa Claus, they also say the festive annular bread of the New Year.
Γεράσιμος Σωτ. Γαλανός
Source – Δήμος Ληξουρίου