Sheep Shearing

This is a very special event in the lives of Cretan sheep breeders. It is, you could say, the “feast of the sheep”.

It is one of the most impressive events taking place yearly in June. The sheep breeder invites all his friends and relatives to help him carry out this difficult task. When the shearing is over they all enjoy the meal which has been prepared and which includes a very rich meal as well as feasting, drinking, singing and even dancing .

Sheep shearing is a long and tiresome process. The first part –called “kolokourisma”- is usually carried out in the beginning of spring. It means shearing the hind legs and the tail area in order to protect the sheep’s wool from getting dirty since their excrement is “watery” due to the fresh grass they’re grazing. In June there follows the completion of the task – the shearing of the whole body. This aims at helping the animals not to suffer from the summer heat . The wool used to be processed and used by the family in order to make clothes. Nowadays it is sold to merchants at very low prices receiving –not money- some item in return.