Trikeri is the last village, at the very edge of Pagassitikos Gulf. You arrive there coming from Volos city and Argalasti village. This uniquely beautiful hamlet is surrounded by seas and green slopes. I’ll write about that in another post though.
Here is a story about a wedding there, which I still remember.
I arrived with a friend of mine at the village, it was noon, in the middle of July. I had already learned that a wedding somewhat traditional was taking place there. Well, we took our cameras and we went there to see. We stumbled in the marriage just as we arrived in the village !
“These are called kleidotaria ” told us Mrs. Eftyhia Malasioti , showing me the belt buckles from her good traditional costume that she wore that day because it was the wedding of her daughter. Absolutely amazing piece of jewelry! I said. OK that was is a special case for something so traditional. But I was wrong. Most old traditions are alive here, in Trikeri. I asked the girlfriends of the bride and they told me that they all have their normal special local outfit ! Traditional ! With such precious buckles!
We watched all the customs and the traditions starting from the family house of the bride. She was adorned in front of thikiasti (the stack with the dowry ) with quite a few bank notes around as a decoration and a wallpaper. Dowry and gifts.
Then came the local musicians with the groom. They started promising gifts for the bratimo – who is something of a best man – as the bride was putting on her shoes.
We followed the path to the church, accompanied with the sounds of the local music (from clarinet , lute and violin ) . We saw the guest’s small gifts, silk with red and pink ribbons .
It was a hot afternoon and all around the air smelled of pine and olive. The bells were shouting cheerfully, two dozen of kids were staining their white shoes and some men smoked around the church, gathered in small groups .
Before leaving the village: a surprise ! We got an invitation for the wedding feast, from those sweet and welcoming people. Nice…
So in the evening everyone was by the main square of the Trikeri village, around the huge acacias, surrounded by dozens of tables. I think that the whole village was there. Violins and clarinets were playing loud, wine and roasted lambs turned to red the guests’ cheeks. Everyone was having a good time.
The guests danced into piles ( ie concentric circles ) round the female singers! Great atmosphere! The singers were playing cute and sang all the traditional hits of the village. The most interesting custom, however, was when relatives were “bathing” the dancers… with dollars. Why dollars? But why the paper euros cost too much to make fun throwing them in the air! So guests bought one-dollar notes from the orchestra and they tossed them like confetti! Specifically charged with collecting dollars kids packed the notes and returned them back to the orchestra . And the story continued ad infinitum … All night long …
Feasting with dollars … What they reminded me of ?
Oh yeah ! “The village was made up with dollars…” told me earlier the President of Trikeri . Dollars like those scattered profusely but not for fun. They were scattered for the good of the village, by a local nobleman, his bust is located away from the lights of our big party, at an adjacent square.
That nobleman was Evangelos Karavangelis , who got rich in Galveston, America, creating a fishing fleet (which was fishing shrimps !). And in 1955 he funded numerous public constructions, brought water in the village, endowed poor girls and helped as much as he could his humble hometown . “He was the King of Shrimps … ” the President had told me. “Maybe the one and only king in Trikeri village” I thought.
I let my thoughts on shrimps and kings and turned back to the wedding party. My friend was already dancing with one of the singers …
Where am I ?
Trikeri village is located in Thessaly, at the edge of the land of Magnesia , the southernmost tip of Pelion mountain. The best way to get there is by car, via Volos – Afyssos- Argalasti – Milina villages. Sometimes you may come here by boat from the port of Volos but you should better communicate first with the Volos Port Authority to check for the existing routes.