Ο τοπικός πολιτισμός της περιοχής των Τζουμέρκων
Υπόμνημα:

The Festivals of Matsouki

The festivals of Matsouki, as in most settlements in the Tzoumerka region, are held over the summer. Both permanent residents and the sheep farmers that had returned from the winter pastures attended these festivals. The festival is a major social event for the community in the sense that it well established and symbolically reproduced years after year. The festival’s profile is open to compromise but its social character in entrenched in peoples’ collective memory. A significant event for the community is the three-day festival of Saint Paraskevi held in July as well as the festival that commemorates the feast day of Panagia of Vyliza that was once celebrated on March 25th but from 1926 onwards is celebrated on August 15th.

The second celebration, which is also the most festive, takes place specifically for the sheep farmers and their families to attend because they’ve returned from the winter pastures. The summer festival is also an opportunity for the area’s emigrants and ex-patriots to take part in the religious and festive celebrations. At these festivals residents of neighboring communities also attend. But in July’s festival, there is a particularly large attendance from former Matsouki residents that now live in Thessaly. The arrival of relatives from Thessaly’s settlements, as well as the hospitality offered especially to them, always had a symbolic essence. Their attendance at the festival strengthened community and family relations and served as a means to renew communications networks and relationships.

Nonetheless according to oral testimonies from residents, festivals were also held in the older chapels that surrounded the community. On the feast day of the Savior, or Saint Theodore, musicians would follow the crowds to the chapels where small-scale celebrations were held thanks to the participation of all residents. Something similar would happen on August 15th in Vyliza. After the Church service the families would sit at predetermined spots around the Monastery. These spots were usually under large trees and residents would rejoice as the music played.

Oral testimonies