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.
Some summers after my teenage years I spent in Kos. One of my childhood friends originated from the island and we went to his vacation home. So I have plenty of pleasant memories from this island and now that I photograph all over Greece, I could not neglect it. I know of course that the tourist industry has the upper hand since then, but like every place in Greece, Kos has a great tradition behind, which I was determined to discover. Among hordes of tourists looking for cheap blue and vitamin D, some residents try to preserve what may have been left from past times.
In an old and somehow derelict part of the city center, dozens of street restaurants and food stalls pile up local delicacies, traditional dishes from other regions and even the odd "contemporary" dish.
After eating a delicious food, singing starts. There are local musicians playing. Oldest men sing first, the priest also. In a while, dancing starts. This will last until morning.
Some women visit home to home to invite others to the feast. They go into the yards, they chase chickens, dance, eat doughnuts made by housewives to cure them, drink wine. This goes on in every house and on the streets of the village.
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.
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.
Every year in Thessaloniki there is help the Bell roads festival. Many groups of people bearing bells (20 to 30 teams each year) from Greece and abroad take part. There are more than 1500 people active. Disguised dancers, musicians, will parade on the streets of the city.