This is an event that takes place in a monastery of Peloponnese, near the beautiful town of Kalavryta. The monastery is called Ayia Lavra and is the place where the Greek revolution commenced in 1821 to claim the independence from the 400 -year Turkish rule.
Ayia Lavra is the place where the Greek revolution commenced
I arrived there quite early to see the place and the monastery which is really beautiful. You can visit the monastery at anytime during the year and admire the architecture but also get your Turkish delight treat and Greek, or Turkish if you prefer, coffee. Yep, if you are wondering, it's the same thing. This day gets rather crowded in the afternoon, but it is a good chance to see the place and some nice theatrical custom at the same time.
Every participant is an actor, even the ones pretending to be priests. It was funny that some people thought they were actual priests and kissed their back of the hand (a common thing for the flock to do when greeting a priest in Greece).
The event takes place on March 25, a day that is marked as a National Holiday in Greece because of the revolution commencement. It was raining on that day and what may spoil the fun for most people, for me it is the best that could happen. You can get more dramatic images thanks to the clouds, reflections but also from people trying to avoid getting wet!
Well, it gets even better. They got guns! Not real bullets of course, but they make noise and fire. Smoke too! They shoot the guns a few times and later on, they gather around a smaller church, take some vows around some graves in a small cemetery and then BANG BANG they go. Not many people know about this bit, well, not before the shootings start anyway, but I was lucky to suspect they were up to something so I followed!