TRADITIONAL EASTER IN LIVADEIA
The Easter customs are revived every year in Livadeia and the whole city celebrates. The Easter festival follows the tradition of Central Greece. The custom of the pit is still being revived. Every year, the residents start making the preparations on Holy Thursday. On Easter Sunday the charcoals or the branches are lit with the candle of the Resurrection, in order to roast the lambs. This happens in every “pit” in every corner of the city. The celebration begins in the morning and the Municipality organizes a festival with traditional music and dances, in the area of Krya, next to the nature. In the evening of Easter Sunday, there is another festival at the square of the city, with traditional dances and fireworks. The traditional Easter of Livadeia is famous and attracts visitors from the whole country every year.
MAYPOLE IN LIVADEIA
Maypole (“Gaitanaki”) is a long lasting tradition for Livadeia and it used to take place even during the years after the Second World War. During the last decades people revive this habit with great enthusiasm. During the carnival the floats and the costumes are prepared. On the last Sunday of the Carnival the mummers make a parade in the streets of the city and they end up to the central square, where the Maypole is woven. Then, small performances are held, along with singing and dancing from the mummers. In the end there is a traditional celebration with folk music and dancing. Those events are organized by the Municipality of Livadeia and the participation of the people of the city is very big.
VLACH WEDDING IN THEBES
The tradition of the Vlach wedding, a holdover of the worshiping of Dionysus, takes place every year in the city of Thebes. It is a parody of all wedding procedures. It starts on Fat Thursday when the families of the couple meet in order to discuss the dowry. Once they agree, the preparations begin. The ceremony begins on Sunday afternoon and there is a specific procedure to be followed. The “captain” gathers the young boys and the friends of the bride and the groom start dancing in the streets of Thebes. The ceremony and the celebration take place on Clean Monday. The dialogues between the two families in the Vlach language and the circular dance of the dead, are never absent from the procedure. The custom ends up in a big celebration which lasts till the first morning hours.
FESTIVAL OF SAINT GEORGIOS IN ARACHOVA
On a mound, over the central square of Arachova, there is the Temple of Saint Georgios, the Patron Saint. As legend has it Saint Georgios helped G. Karaiskakis in the battle with the Turks-Albanians in 1826. Thus, the people of the area celebrate the Saint’s name day with great honors. The festival lasts three days during which Saint Georgios is celebrated.
It includes customs, which have existed for many centuries, cultural and in general various events. It begins on the day before the celebration with the evening mass, the litany of the icon and the dance f the elder people who wear the traditional local costumes. On the celebration day, after the mass, men in the local costumes visit the field of battle where G. Karaiskakis fought. Afterwards, there is dancing outside the temple. On the third day nature-athletics activities and games are organized in the yard of the temple. The festival ends with a celebration in the noon of the third day with traditional food and music. The Festival is very popular and it attracts many visitors to the area.