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Karpathian Experience

Karpathos also Carpathos, is the second largest of the Greek Dodecanese islands, in the southeastern Aegean Sea.

Combined with the neighboring smaller Island of Saria, which is part of the Karpathos regional unit, they form the municipality of Karpathos. Because of its remote location, Karpathos has maintained many peculiarities of dress, customs and dialect, the last resembling those of Crete and Cyprus. Karpathos is one of the greek islands that did not get affected by tourism regarding its manners and customs. On the contrary, the Karpathians strengthened their faith and placed their attention in their customs and traditions. With every chance they get they show and promote their traditions through festivities or festivals. Not only do they enjoy themselves but also they provoke the visitors to participate and enjoy an unforgettable experience. The main characteristic of the island is the female costume of Olympus, the wine cellar and sakkofoustano. There are different costumes for the younger girls and a different ones for the older women. In the past the men used to wear their traditional costume that included blue breeches and a blue vest. These costumes are different in each village. One of the most important celebration is that of a weddings, baptisms and open-air festivals. In the past, marriages in Karpathos were arranged. The so-called "match makers" used to meet the parents of the bride and groom and plan the future of the young couple. When the negotiations were completed and both the families had agreed, the match maker brought the grooms relatives and the groom to the house of the bride were the first engagement took place. By rule the wedding took place a week after the engagement, on a Sunday and the whole village participated in its preparation. The young women and the seamstresses sewed the wedding dress and the dresses, they white washed the house of the couple to be and made all the preparations for the feast. The men were involved with the preparations of the meat, the preparation of the house with furniture and anything else that was needed. On Sunday the young men and women dressed the bride and groom, each one in their own home with traditional songs (called madinades) and music. Then the groom together with the best man and his friends started out for the house of the bride picked her up to go to the church. In addition a custom that is only found in Karpathos is that of the "efta" (means seven in Greek). This custom included a feast that takes place seven days after the birth of a baby, were the relatives and friends got together and built a crib for the baby, if there is no crib, and they put it to sleep by singing wishes. Sweets and food was served and a feast follows it. The baptism followed later. Regarding food and sweets Karpathos is known for the traditional dish “Makarounes” and the sweet “Baklavas”. Karpathos has 12 villages. Starting for the top of the island: Olympos, Diafani, Spoa, Mesochori, Piles, Othos, Volada, Aperi, Menetes, Arkasa, Finiki and of course Karpathos the main city also known as Pigadia. All villages have something traditional and unique to offer to the guest and of course the wonderful beaches.

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