On Tuesday 19.09.2023, in the building of the Old Parliament, a one-day conference will be held on “Attica Earth and its products: Environment and Climate Crisis, Perspectives”. The Scientific Workshop, under the guidance of Dr. Aikaterini Polymerou – Kamilakis, Director of the Centre for Folklore of the Academy of Athens, will focus on the analysis of primary production and the peri-urban environment of Attica, showcasing the products of the land of Attica and highlighting the prospects and challenges for the peri-urban development of the region.
The Attica Gaia Festival 2023, New Thesmoforian, is a celebration that highlights the products that have thrived over time in this land; namely cereals, olives and their oil and grapevines and wine, patronized by the Greek deities Demeter, Athena and Dionysus respectively. Economic pillars of the Athenian State, these products today still form part of the backbone of the national economy, symbols of the productive identity of Greece.
The Greek-Mediterranean diet, of which Attica was the cradle, is an invaluable national asset. Promoted with the benefit of accumulated know-how and modern development models, it can be a pillar for sustainable development that respects the environment, culture and the quality of life of the inhabitants and diversifies the tourism product.
Dr.Aikaterini Polymerou-Kamilaki – Hon. Researcher, Director of the Centre for the Study of Greek Folklore, Academy of Athens
The knowledge of cultivation of the land, a gift of the goddess Demeter to the inhabitants of Attica, and organized agriculture established for the first time “institutions” of society. Hence Demeter was given an additional nomenclature of Thesmophoros (‘thesmos’ being the Greek word for ‘institution’) and festivals were held in honor of Thesmoforia. During these celebrations, among other things, the quality of the fruit produced was checked by the electors and seeds were collected from the sacred fields under the Acropolis for the reproduction of crops, ensuring biodiversity and local varieties.
The Athenians were proud that they were the first among humans to be taught by the goddess Demeter the cultivation of fruits and the Eleusinian ceremony. Particularly in the context of the Eleusinian Mysteries, they elevated this “privilege” to a major bargaining chip against their allies and enemies, garnering the respect of humanity for the generosity they had shown in sharing the teachings of Mother Earth.
Let us restore the land of Attica to its sanctity by respectfully preserving and protecting the peri-urban arable and forest land.
- Dr. Aikaterini Polymerou – Kamilaki, Homot. Director of the Centre for the Study of Greek Folklore of the Academy of Athens.
- Christos Zerefos, Secretary General of the Academy of Athens, National Representative for Climate Change
- Stavros Vemmos, Honorary Secretary of the Greek National Academy of Sciences, Greece, Head of the Greek National Academy of Sciences. Professor of Horticulture, Agricultural University of Athens
- Dimitris Voloudakis, Agronomist & External Associate, Centre for Meteorology and Climatology of the Academy of Athens, Director of “New Agriculture – New Generation” Programmes
- Dimitris Michaelides, author of “AgroNews”, “AgroBus”
- Magda Kontogianni, Breeder, Secretary of the Livestock Association of Attica Region
- Georgios Boskou, Deputy Director of the Agricultural Department of the Greek Ministry of Agriculture, Agrarian Association of Greece. Professor of Harokopio University, Nutritionist
- Georgios Pittas, researcher and author
- Dr. Yolanda Totsiou, agronomist specializing in Food Technology etc.