Kourbani – A masculine custom in a small village in North Greece

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Kourbani is a masculine custom that holds its roots by the time Greece was held by Turks.


Back then, Archochori a small village in North Greece was Turkish manor. Turks did not let Greeks to gather together because they were afraid that they will organize a revolution.

Greeks found as an excuse the religious celebration of St. Athanasios that holds 18th of January, in order to be able to gather together. They were gathering in the church’s yard and they were collecting money to buy weapons and materials for the revolution against Turks by auctioning animals baked or alive. For the religious celebration of St. Athanasios, as they used to call it, they were offering food and wine.

Women were not allowed to attend this custom for two reasons. They first version was that they will give away this secret to the Turks. The second version was that they did not let their husbands to spend a lot of money in the auction for the cause.

After the liberation from the Turks the custom continued and women still do not attend in the Church’s yard.
Instead they are celebrating and dance in the village’s Central Square. After the end of animal auctioning men are joining women in village’s Central Square to celebrate together this Northern Greece custom.

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