Unless you are staying on an Indian friend's house, the most fun and true way of getting to know the day-to-day and customs of the Indians is to use the Indian rail network.
The monastery of Saint Panteleimon, near Vlasti Kozanis, celebrates its patron saint. Many pilgrims arrive to pray and at the same time the villagers climb the mountain on the back of their horses.
The tribes of upper Sepic gather in this feast wearing traditional costumes and participating in frenzied dances. Feathers of various birds like the mighty Cassowary or the emblematic bird of paradise, shells, grass skirts, teeth of crocodiles and warthogs, bows and spears and of course full body painting are just a few elements of these traditional costumes. The decoration is completed with live baby crocodiles, hanging on men, women and children.
Purpuris will be visiting the houses of the village and dance around their yards. He will wish prosperity and fertility for the year to come and the house owner will treat him with food and drinks, usually Tsipouro.
After three and a half hours we had walked the whole village and visited every house. The koudouniarides had sung and danced all this time but i was the only one feeling tired and frozen.
The clock was ticking. It was getting dark and more people were going out in the streets, dressed as carnivals, ready to have some good time. You could hear Balkan music everywhere.