The Villages and their traditions

The varied origins of the inhabitants makes up the rich culture of this region. Its population is made up of Arvanites, Vlachs, people from Asia Minor, from the Pontus region, from eastern Thrace and obviously from the region itself and they all contribute to this cultural richness that distinguishes these parts. By celebrating the patron saints of the villages, they have established many cultural events. Moreover, they have created similar festivals in order to exhibit the regional products. The cultural associations, working together with the regional councils, maintain the folklore and showcase it whenever the opportunity arises. Events to mark the remembrance of events that affected the locality are also organised and they prove the people’s respect for the historical legacy which is maintained unchanged.

The festival of Prophet Elias

The feast of Saint Demetrius, the patron saint of Lechovo, combines ecclesiastical events, attended by the metropolitan of Kastoria, with the Pie Festival and the Greek festival of traditional dance. The famous festival of Prophet Elias is identified with the events of historical remembrance of the burning of the village by the German Wehrmacht (23-27 July 1943). The feast of the Apostles showcases the rich tradition of education by awarding the best students. Events lasting up to three days take place during the Carnival period and include the traditional lighting of the boubouna and the offering of the famous bean soup without oil on the hill of the Prophet Elias.

Asprogia celebrates the Feast of the Transfiguration of Jesus. Thus, on the eve and the day of the feast (5-6 August), traditional events take place in the central square of the village. This day marks the return of most emigrant inhabitants, who come to honour the day and visit their families. On Christmas eve, many bonfires are lit to announce the birth of Jesus, while during the Epiphany, the folk tradition of mumming to ward against evil spirits is still maintained.

At Sklithro, the Potato Festival takes place in the end of July. The regional variations of potatoes are flaunted here, as well as the many traditional ways of cooking it. It is combined with dancing feasts. In the hill of Saint Paraskevi, each summer a youth festival takes place and many famous artists and musicians perform there.

The church of the Transfiguration of the Saviour in Asprogia

At Agrapidia, a rare tradition takes place. It has been brought by the refugee inhabitants of Asia Minor. On the second day of Easter, inhabitants participate in egg fights which take place all over the village.

In Aetos, the Pepper Festival brings in many visitors. A relatively new event, the festival of peppers displays the famous red pepper of Florina. The events take place every August from the 22nd to the 24th and visitors have the chance to try all gastronomic variations with this pepper as a base ingredient. On the 23rd of December bonfires are lit; a remnant of the Ancient Greek tradition.

The hill of Saint Paraskevi

At Limnochori, the refugee inhabitants celebrate the 15th of August with cultural festivals in the shore of Lake Zazari.

At Nymphaio, during the feast which celebrates the moving of St Nicholas’ bones (20th of May), after the liturgy takes place outside the Church of Saint Nicholas, women offer clothing that they have sewn themselves. Each 14th and 15th of August, many theatrical performances take place, as well as musical and dance shows which are remnants of the Vlach traditions.

Lake Zazari