After the commemoration, at which many people gathered in order to honor the memory of the deceased, dozens ended up in a hospital in Naples (Crete).
According to what became known, all people showed symptoms of severe poisoning after eating a special “memorial treat” (κόλλυβα). For example, in Russia, in this case, pancakes are served.
Coliva usually consists of boiled wheat, raisins (pomegranate seeds), cinnamon, and nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, etc.). Recently, it is customary to sprinkle the mixture with powdered sugar.
The word comes from the ancient Greek word “kolivos” (κόλλυβος), as the grain of cereals was called. Coliva is offered to those who attend memorial services in the church, and then distributed to relatives and those present. The custom dates back to the earliest Christian years.
As coliva at the commemoration can serve a cake that contains the above ingredients.
Thus, those who attended the commemoration and tasted the treat received food poisoning. Many, in addition to vomiting and diarrhea, experienced a symptom such as fever. In this regard, people at first thought that they had some kind of gastrointestinal virus. However, after receiving first aid at the hospital, most of them were discharged and returned home.
However, two of those participating in the memorial ceremony, as the deputy head of the Dialinaki hospital in Naples, Irini-Vasiliki Hatzea, told local media, are still in the hospital due to severe dehydration.