New year Carnival in Klisoura

Carnival in the Macedonian warrior uniform
Photography / Text: George Tatakis

I got to know the carnival in Klisoura after having some small talk with the hotel owner in Kastoria. I was staying in Kastoria because I had some time after the New Year's festivities in Argos Orestikon and the Bell bearers'  customs in Drama. Kastoria is a beautiful city in northern Greece, situated around a big lake. 

The carnival continues in Kastoria and during the first day of the Year Argkoutsaria (Carnivals in the Vlach language) are celebrated in the historic Klisoura.

During the first day of the Year Argkoutsaria (Carnivals in the Vlach language) are celebrated in the historic Klisoura.

Kleisoura is a traditionally Aromanian (Vlach) settlement and a former municipality in Kastoria regional unit, West Macedonia, Greece. On 5 April 1944, the German occupation forces executed 280 inhabitants as retaliation for the killing of three Nazi soldiers by ELAS guerrilla forces operating under Alexis Rosios just outside the village at the location Ntaouli

The clothing since 1904, the beginning of the Macedonian revolution, has changed to the Macedonian warrior’s one, which includes the cloak, fustanella, a stiff white kilt, worn by men in Greece, and tsarouchia, a type of shoe, which is typically known nowadays as part of the traditional uniform. Tsarouchia are typically made of a number of pieces of stiff leather hand-sewn together, in the moccasin fashion. They have a characteristic pointy nose, usually covered by a large woolen pompom.

The clothing is the Macedonian warrior’s one, which includes the cloak, fustanella and tsarouchia

The only difference in the carnival version of the uniform, is that the participants wear a mask as well. They all prepare in an opening about 200 meters away from the central square and help each other wear the mask. When everyone is ready they start parading/ dancing towards the central square of the village. 

Around the square the dancing begins. The men in uniform start to dance. There are some certain roles as well, that of a bride, a Turkish tax collector and some more. They dance in traditional Vlach music and as soon as they finish at the square they start entering the surrounding cafes and tavernas making some noise and making everyone dance. While dancing everyone around is cheering and ask for certain dances to be performed by the dancing team.

 
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Location

New year Carnival in Klisoura

Unnamed Road Klisoura
Klisoura, Western Macedonia, Greece