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Culture Folk Culture - People The People Emigres of Anatoliki Romylia Larissa

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18/11/2008
The engagement and the newly-weds wetting

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The engagement
The engagement took place from Saturday to Sunday in the house of the bride.

The groom -with the escort of relatives and friends- went to the house of the bride. His parents weren’t with him. The groom was welcomed by the relatives and the friends of the bride, who were already in her house.

The groom offered to the bride as gifts jewels like "mpitzilikia" (jewel for the hand), silver bracelets, silver earrings, "karfovelono" (jewel for the head), as well as the engagement ring.

The bride, in her turn, offered to the groom "piskiri", woven in the loom, "mantilaki" and "serseli", a jewel for the head, made by colourful spinners. The bride also offered "piskiria" to the matchmakers.

After the offer of the ring to the bride and the exchange of the gifts, the groom with his escort left for his house, where they celebrated the event with food, wine-drinking, music, dances and songs. The same happened in the bride’s house.

They ate chickens, turkeys "misiria" -that had been cooked with rice in a big cauldron-, pies, beans and also "armia" (cabbage), while the wine flowed in abundance.

The foods were placed in the "mesali", a type of tablecloth on the ground. The seats were made by stones and woods that covered with fabrics and above them they put the cushions.

The celebration was accompanied by music, songs and dance. The songs had as central subject the love.

The newly-weds wetting
On the day of St. John (6 January), the men, who were married the previous years, were organised in teams in order to wet the newly-wed couples.

All the newly-wed men were gathered in a cafe, where they buy everybody a drink. If somebody denied buying a drink for everybody, then he was thrown in the water tank. Then, they were gathered in the square, where they made a semi-circle hoop from mulberry wood. This hoop was held by two men near the tap and the newly-weds passed under it while dancing. At the same time, a man sprinkled them with a basil. Then, a celebration followed in the house of every newly-wed.

The newly-wed girl was wetted by her best woman. In her hand, she kept the "kakavouli", decorated with basil and red ribbon. During the wetting, the other women gave their wishes to the bride. Then, a celebration followed with foods, music, dances and songs.


Sources:
Pan-Hellenic Federation of the Associations of Anatoliki Romylia, "Anatoliki Romylia (Northern Thrace)", Periodical publication P.O.S.A.R., Vol. 2, April - May - June 2005

Pan-Hellenic Federation of the Associations of Anatoliki Romylia, "Anatoliki Romylia (Northern Thrace)", Periodical publication P.O.S.A.R., Vol. 5, April - May - June 2007