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Sunday, 17 August 2014

Panigyria in Epirus, 15/16 August; Vristovo and Vitsa.

To Vristovo, round the back of Mount Kasidiaris. Vristovo is a small mountain hamlet near Lavdhani, Pogoni, Epirus:

It was a a nightmare two and a half hour car drive with seven people on board, from Vitsa to Vristovo, via Parakalamos, climbing a high crumbling mountain road round the back of Mount Kasidiaris. We finally managed to make it in one piece to the small mountain hamlet community panigyri at Vristovo (20 residents in the winter) near Lavdhani, Pogoni, Epirus. 

Yiannis Chaldoupis and his musicians were playing unplugged, acoustic music and they were on their best form; the village cultural committee couldn't have been more hospitable and welcoming, providing excellent kleftiko lamb and refreshments. The villagers were delighted by the visit from the New York Times group, and we were sad to leave so early.

We were late back for the last night of the Vitsa panigyri, but as it went on through the night and until nearly 11am this morning (16th), we had ample time to enjoy the dance music and the infinitely sad final solos and songs (grava and miroloi) played by Grigoris Kapsalis, as well as the farewell procession up the kalderimi from the mesochori or plateia.

Amanda Petrusich (left)

 Grigoris Kapsalis

Grigoris Kapsalis; Kostas Karapanos on violin

Thomas Haligiannis leads the procession


  1. The NY Times article is out:

  2. Thanks! What a great article it is. Bravo to Amanda!

  3. Imagine, some 10-15 years ago, this fest (panigyri) was far more interesting, crowded and at that time (or soma years ago) it lasted for more than 2 days, with dancing, music etc The first day we cooked special food for the day, my late gramdmother Stamatia was the chief of the ...cooking crew. Everyone ate from this 2 special recipies, kofto and giachni, and at the end they offer money for the church or for the community. At that time, I was 10-15 (70s) the village was also empty on winter (round 30-35 people at the time), but on summer time it was full of people, childrens. Thomas Sfetsas