Kotsamania, local traditional custom

An ancient Dionysian custom that was brought from Asia Minor by the Pontic-Greek people who came to stay in Greece following the Lausanne treaty in 1923.
Photography / Text: Michael Pappas

It's almost Christmas and I travel to Tetralofos village in Kozani.

This is where the custom of Kotsamania takes place. I have already made contact with the local club and arranged to be hosted by them. 

Kotsamania, local traditional custom - Greece. Western Macedonia. Ellispontos. © Michael Pappas
Kotsamania, local traditional custom
Greece. Western Macedonia. Ellispontos. © Michael Pappas

Since early morning they start by getting dressed for the event. I visited a local home and saw all the process of dressing. The mother is making coffee and advice on how the older people would dress up properly. At the same time, the father is also present to advice and make corrections. Very hospitable people who will win your heart by their simplicity and good manners. I have told an old man that I come from Athens and replied: "Well, it's ok, still you might be a good lad".

I have told an old man that I come from Athens and replied: "Well, it's ok, still you might be a good lad".

Kotsamania, local traditional custom - Greece. Western Macedonia. Ellispontos. © Michael Pappas
Kotsamania, local traditional custom
Greece. Western Macedonia. Ellispontos. © Michael Pappas
Kotsamania, local traditional custom - Greece. Western Macedonia. Ellispontos. © Michael Pappas
Kotsamania, local traditional custom
Greece. Western Macedonia. Ellispontos. © Michael Pappas

Kotsamania, local traditional custom - Greece. Western Macedonia. Ellispontos. © Michael Pappas
Kotsamania, local traditional custom
Greece. Western Macedonia. Ellispontos. © Michael Pappas

After everyone got ready, I followed along to the local cultural club, where they would all meet before the event. There I witnessed the last few preparations before the parade starts. 

Kotsamania, local traditional custom - Greece. Western Macedonia. Ellispontos. © Michael Pappas
Kotsamania, local traditional custom
Greece. Western Macedonia. Ellispontos. © Michael Pappas
Kotsamania, local traditional custom - Greece. Western Macedonia. Ellispontos. © Michael Pappas
Kotsamania, local traditional custom
Greece. Western Macedonia. Ellispontos. © Michael Pappas

The event started and the parade goes along every street of the village. We visit homes along the way, the ones that people live inside. It is a good chance to go around and see the village. In every home there is a treat with local food and drinks. The 'Kotsamania' dance outside every house. 

Kotsamania, local traditional custom - Greece. Western Macedonia. Ellispontos. © Michael Pappas
Kotsamania, local traditional custom
Greece. Western Macedonia. Ellispontos. © Michael Pappas
Kotsamania, local traditional custom - Greece. Western Macedonia. Ellispontos. © Michael Pappas
Kotsamania, local traditional custom
Greece. Western Macedonia. Ellispontos. © Michael Pappas

Kotsamania, local traditional custom - Greece. Western Macedonia. Ellispontos. © Michael Pappas
Kotsamania, local traditional custom
Greece. Western Macedonia. Ellispontos. © Michael Pappas

A significant landmark of the place that you cannot easily miss, is the power station of Kozani which is nearby. 

Kotsamania, local traditional custom - Greece. Western Macedonia. Ellispontos. © Michael Pappas
Kotsamania, local traditional custom
Greece. Western Macedonia. Ellispontos. © Michael Pappas

The party goes on until late at night. They had also started a bonfire and were dancing around it with the visitors. My bed is inside a room of the local Pontic cultural club. No matter the cold, the place inside was even warmer than my house! All the members of the club were infinitely hospitable and I made new friends!

Kotsamania, local traditional custom - Greece. Western Macedonia. Ellispontos. © Michael Pappas
Kotsamania, local traditional custom
Greece. Western Macedonia. Ellispontos. © Michael Pappas

Kotsamania, local traditional custom - Greece. Western Macedonia. Ellispontos. © Michael Pappas
Kotsamania, local traditional custom
Greece. Western Macedonia. Ellispontos. © Michael Pappas
Kotsamania, local traditional custom - Greece. Western Macedonia. Ellispontos. © Michael Pappas
Kotsamania, local traditional custom
Greece. Western Macedonia. Ellispontos. © Michael Pappas
#ancient #tetralofos #asia minor #kotsamania #pontos #momoyer #pontic #dionysian #pagan #village

Location

Kotsamania, local traditional custom

98 Epar.Od. Kiladas - Akrinis Tetralofo
Ellispontos, Western Macedonia, Greece