Sheep shearing

One of the traditions held in Crete and especially in the villages of Chania, whose inhabitants are engaged in farming, is sheep shearing. This refers to the process of cutting off the fleece of the sheep, so that the animals do not suffer during the hot summer months and to avoid risk of contamination and germs that accumulate around the part of the tail.

Sheep shearing is a difficult job, in which only men farmers are involved. As it requires great effort, they are usually organized in groups and usually end up in a kind of big celebration. After completion of the sheep shearing, everyone involved, friends and relatives of farmers, gather together, eat, and drink raki and sing, turning their effort in a celebration.

Even today on Crete, these festivities after the exhausting work, contribute decisively to the brotherhood and friendship among the villagers. These relationships, that are not tied to any expectations of financial compensation, are common in Chania and bring people together.

In earlier times, the farmers eagerly awaited the sheep shearing, as the wool was used by the women to make garments, linens and textiles that were much needed for the family.