Tsiknopempti or Smoked Thursady is celebrated during the festive week of the carnival before the period of the Lent commences.People feast on meat alongside with dance and music and friend’s getting together.
On Carnival Sunday – Traditions
On Sunday before Clean Monday(or Monday of Lent) people put on their carnival costumes and celebrate in the squares of their villages where the Municipality officials in association with the local clubs offer free traditional goat meat dishes and wine in abundance, like in Vourgareli, Kypseli and Agnanta.There are widespread customs you can experience such as the Vlahikos gamos (a traditional wedding) the Gaitanaki dance,the burning of Karnavalos.
It is a comic enactment of the tradional wedding which revives through dancing rituals in the streets with the matchmakers’ coming and going , the in-laws ,the dowry issues, the wedding preparations , the closing of the deal between the two sides and of course , the gossip of what follows the couple’s ‘first night as husband and wife .The festivities include food and wine accompanied by folk music.
The Gaitanaki Dance
With its roots in ancient Greece Gaitanaki is a traditional Greek dance and singing custom.One person holds the pole and dancers holding ribbons which are fixed on top of the pole pass under the next dancer’s ribbon.The result is a beautiful colourful braid created on the pole.Both boys and girls participate.It is organized in streets and squares.
The Burning of Karnavalos ( Carnival King )
On Carnival Sunday night bonfires are lit and the burning of Karnavalos begins.It is a symbolic act which according to Folklore passions , hatred and enmity are eradicated among people.It also represents the transition from winter to spring.
The festivities of Clean Monday or Koulouma is a Greek custom that symbolizes the transition from winter to spring.It is celebrated with outdoor excursions, the consumption of fasting food like bean soup, halvah and olives ,which is offered by the Municipality for free in squares, and the widespread custom of flying kites.