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The Mpampo Celebration

A custom with ancient roots that was brought into the area by the refugees from Eastern Thrace, the MPAMPO celebration is revived every year on the 7th and 8th of January by the women of the villages Aspros and Kalindria and is one of the most typical traditional events.

With this custom, “Mpampo”, the midwife of the village is honored. Mpampo was a special person for the small communities of that era, especially regarding women.

By honoring Mpampo, the people honored the life, the fertility and the woman, who through the sufferings of childbirth turns into a mother.

On the first day of the celebration, the women of the village who are older than 40 years are gathered and elect the "Mpampo".Then, together they roam around the village with a bucket of water and basil, sprinkling and blessing the new couples, mainly the engaged and newlywed, offering their wishes for a happy marriage and procreation.

On the second day of the celebration, the women gather together on the streets wearing the beautiful traditional costumes of Eastern Romelia.On that day it is forbidden for the men to walk around in the village.They have to stay at home and do all the household chores that the women usually do throughout the year.If a man is caught walking on the road that day, he is expected to treat all the women.

The festival culminates at the village square with a feast that lasts until the morning, with plenty of wine, music, songs, theatrical performances and comical improvisations with origins from Aristophanes, as this celebration is a day of liberal speech for the women; except for the unmarried ones, who cannot participate.

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