DANCES AND FETES IN ZAGORI

 

Social life in Zagori is organized around the central square at the village, the so-called: "messohori", where usually the church, the school and the different stores are located. The "messohori" is the life of the village itself and all social events as well as the famous traditional fetes of Zagori take place.

The fete in Zagori villages used to be the most important event of social life. It still survives nowadays having preserved many elements of the past concerning the songs, the dances and procedure intact, despite the “alternation” to its original character.

The fete continues to take place on specific dates in commemoration of the patron saints of a specific church or monastery, and so it gives the chance to all the fellow villagers, no matter where they may reside, to be present at the greatest social and cultural event of the year.

The fete usually takes place on the central square of the village “the messohori” with the participation of all age groups. The children dancing at the end of the circle, “are taught” the tradition by their elders.

They also dance “Tsamiko”, “Sirto”, “Pogonisio” (dances from Pogoni villages) and others which are characteristic of Epirus. The “Tsamiko” dance is adjusted to the steps of “Zagorisio”. The songs either give away to the next one or they change to “Tsamiko” and then follow love songs which they dance the same as “Sirto”. In many villages of east Zagori people usually dance also dances called “Sigathisto”.

The folk songs of Zagori villages is distinguished for the clarity of its expression, its melodiousness and its high expressive feeling, which praises the love for life, love itself, the art of well being but also describes the longing for home.

<<< back