Traditional Engagement in Olympos

If you happen to be in Olympos village of Karpathos island during August, you might be lucky enough to see a traditional engagement taking place.
Photography / Text: George Tatakis

If you happen to be in Olympos village of Karpathos island during August, you might be lucky enough to see a traditional engagement taking place. 

Traditional Engagement in Olympos - Greece. South Aegean. Olympos. © George Tatakis
Traditional Engagement in Olympos
Greece. South Aegean. Olympos. © George Tatakis

This is a custom that is not taking place too often however. It takes a lot of preparation so it not easy to perform. The family starts preparing a couple of weeks before, making many treats to offer to the whole village. Most of the people in the village are invited and since it is August, the village is quite full. 

Traditional Engagement in Olympos - Greece. South Aegean. Olympos. © George Tatakis
Traditional Engagement in Olympos
Greece. South Aegean. Olympos. © George Tatakis

The bride to be is getting ready inside her home which takes a few hours, because she has to put on her traditional dress. This consists of three layers of clothing and many accessories, being the scarf and a lot of jewelry. She gets help by her relatives. The girls are really peculiar about wearing the scarf properly. They will make the one helping them untie and tie again many times. I honestly couldn't see any difference in each version.

Traditional Engagement in Olympos - Greece. South Aegean. Olympos. © George Tatakis
Traditional Engagement in Olympos
Greece. South Aegean. Olympos. © George Tatakis
Traditional Engagement in Olympos - Greece. South Aegean. Olympos. © George Tatakis
Traditional Engagement in Olympos
Greece. South Aegean. Olympos. © George Tatakis

As soon as the bride to be gets ready she moves to the doorstep to wait for the groom to arrive. There is also time for some selfies! There is music playing at the yard all this time. The sweet treats are fantastic. The most traditional one is made by sesame and honey.

Traditional Engagement in Olympos - Greece. South Aegean. Olympos. © George Tatakis
Traditional Engagement in Olympos
Greece. South Aegean. Olympos. © George Tatakis

A bit later the groom will arrive accompanied by musical instrument players and a crowd behind him. He will of course be holding a flower bouquet in his hands, to offer to the bride. 

Traditional Engagement in Olympos - Greece. South Aegean. Olympos. © George Tatakis
Traditional Engagement in Olympos
Greece. South Aegean. Olympos. © George Tatakis

Traditional Engagement in Olympos - Greece. South Aegean. Olympos. © George Tatakis
Traditional Engagement in Olympos
Greece. South Aegean. Olympos. © George Tatakis
Traditional Engagement in Olympos - Greece. South Aegean. Olympos. © George Tatakis
Traditional Engagement in Olympos
Greece. South Aegean. Olympos. © George Tatakis

The ceremony takes place inside the house with the local priest. Every significant member will make a small speech and there will be a lot of emotion as with all Olympian customs. The couple will change the rings. 

Traditional Engagement in Olympos - Greece. South Aegean. Olympos. © George Tatakis
Traditional Engagement in Olympos
Greece. South Aegean. Olympos. © George Tatakis
Traditional Engagement in Olympos - Greece. South Aegean. Olympos. © George Tatakis
Traditional Engagement in Olympos
Greece. South Aegean. Olympos. © George Tatakis

Traditional Engagement in Olympos - Greece. South Aegean. Olympos. © George Tatakis
Traditional Engagement in Olympos
Greece. South Aegean. Olympos. © George Tatakis

The couple will be taken with instruments and music to the place where the reception will take place. The best man/woman will lead the parade, holding an Icon. People are gathering around to see them. 

Traditional Engagement in Olympos - Greece. South Aegean. Olympos. © George Tatakis
Traditional Engagement in Olympos
Greece. South Aegean. Olympos. © George Tatakis

Traditional Engagement in Olympos - Greece. South Aegean. Olympos. © George Tatakis
Traditional Engagement in Olympos
Greece. South Aegean. Olympos. © George Tatakis
Traditional Engagement in Olympos - Greece. South Aegean. Olympos. © George Tatakis
Traditional Engagement in Olympos
Greece. South Aegean. Olympos. © George Tatakis

The reception then took place in the Megaron, a special venue they have for such occasions in the village with a lot of food, drinking and dancing. After some time, the bride to be changed her dress to a modern one so that she was more comfortable. 

Traditional Engagement in Olympos - Greece. South Aegean. Olympos. © George Tatakis
Traditional Engagement in Olympos
Greece. South Aegean. Olympos. © George Tatakis
Traditional Engagement in Olympos - Greece. South Aegean. Olympos. © George Tatakis
Traditional Engagement in Olympos
Greece. South Aegean. Olympos. © George Tatakis

Traditional Engagement in Olympos - Greece. South Aegean. Olympos. © George Tatakis
Traditional Engagement in Olympos
Greece. South Aegean. Olympos. © George Tatakis
Traditional Engagement in Olympos - Greece. South Aegean. Olympos. © George Tatakis
Traditional Engagement in Olympos
Greece. South Aegean. Olympos. © George Tatakis
#party #byzantine #wedding #music #dancing #instruments #engagement #bluestarferries

Location

Traditional Engagement in Olympos

Επαρ.Οδ. Σπόας-Όλυμπου, Όλυμπος 857 00, Ελλάδα
Olympos, South Aegean, Greece

Have a coffee

Parthenon - Nikos (Men) Filippakis

Epar.Od. Olimpou-Diafaniou Olimpos
Olimpos, South Aegean, Greece