Dowry transportation in Olympos

I you happen to be in Olympos, during August, you might be lucky enough to witness the transportation of a groom's dowry to the bride's place before their marriage. A very old traditional custom
Photography / Text: George Tatakis

August is the month when, if you happen to be in Olympos of Karpathos island, you may be lucky enough to experience this beautiful custom.

This happens a couple of days before a marriage will take place and has to do with the transportation of the groom's dowry to the bride's place, where they are going to live for their new life as a couple. 

Like everything in Olympos, the event starts with music in both places. Traditional music and on-the-spot made lyrics, known as 'Mantinades' praise both the families. The instruments are the lyre, drum and bagpipe. 

Guests arrive and enjoy several treats by the family, usually sweet ones and take a look at the dowry. 

When everything is ready and everyone has arrived, they prepare to start moving the dowry. The women that are about to help carrying are dressed up in their traditional dresses. Each woman picks up a part of the dowry and carries it on her head. They start the way across the village, so everyone can see the dowry passing by. 

They make a quick stop at the central square of Olympos (Selai) for some music and singing.

In this specific occasion, the dowry has to be transported to another village, Diafani, which is the port of Olympos. The dowry is taken to the parking lot of the village to be put on trucks and take the way to Diafani. 

The same takes place at Diafani, the bride's home. The dowry is taken through Diafani village as well, before going to the place that the wedding reception is to take place. 

There, more women take out all the dowry and decorate with it all the room of the reception, so that the guests are able to look at the dowry during the reception. 

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Dowry transportation in Olympos

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Olympos, South Aegean, Greece

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