january, 2024

This is a repeating event

The custom of “Camila” and the “Wedding of Manios”

Event Details

The custom of “Camila” and the “Wedding of Manios”
Jan. 5-7 | Galatista village

The people of Halkidiki take a keen interest in their culture and traditions that goes back centuries! They take bride in reviving old customs  The custom has its roots in the years of Turkish rule and is based on the event of the abduction of the beautiful Galatsana Manios by the aga of the village, with the aim of locking her in his harem. The lads of the village, led by her lover Manios, unable to tolerate the robbery and insult, reacted and decided to take her back. So they devised the trick of the camel, something similar to the Trojan Horse. So they built a rudimentary camel and some of them hid under it while others, disguised, followed outside so as not to arouse suspicion.

The young people of the village set up a feast and together with the “camel”, headed to the Turkomahalades, where there was a celebration and feast of the Turks with real camels. While the Galatsans were dancing and drinking, among the Turks, they approached the aga’s mansion. The Turks, seeing the fun of the young people, opened the doors of the onda and they too started drinking and partying with them, leaving the room where they kept Manio unguarded. Then her lover, with the help of his friends, freed Manio, hid her under the “camel” and took her to the village, where the next day she was married to the boy, so that they could not take her again back the Turks.

Since then and every year, on Epiphany, revives the camel custom in commemoration of that event. Therefore, on the day of the Lights, the camel effigy is made, which is a wooden frame lined with thick woven clothes, while large bells are placed inside it in such a way as to make a harmonious sound. The young people of the village dress up in the local costumes.

The event takes place in the main square.

After the Divine Liturgy, the dulcimer and bellmen play the song “tonight they stole our Manio, three Turkish arvanitades”, thus giving the signal for the celebration and the feast to begin, with the participation of all the inhabitants of the village – and not only .

On the following day, Ai-Gianniou, the reenactment of Manios’s wedding takes place. Bride and maid of honor are men dressed in women’s clothing. And this happens, because in those years, women could not take part in public celebrations! The groom’s friends, accompanied by instruments, start to take the maid of honor. With the maid of honor, they set off for the groom’s house, and from there, accompanied by drums and bells and horsemen, they go and take the bride. The procession heads to the square, where a three-cover feast follows.

The reenactment of the custom is done with fun every time, as a result of which a large number of people gather who have the opportunity to feast and taste pies, traditional dishes and sausages along with plenty of wine and tsipouro, all offered by the residents and professionals of Galatista.

Discover the magic of revived customs, where every gesture tells a story, and each celebration echoes with the spirit of the past. Join us in embracing the timeless charm of Halkidiki’s heritage!


Month Long Event (january) EEST


Galatista village

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