Visitors at the historic village of Karytaina, a community in Arcadia in the centre of Peloponnese, were transported to a past era on July 8, as a series of events reviving the traditional harvesting and threshing were celebrated. Karytaina, the village of the leader of Greece’s 1821 national revolution, Theodoros Kolokotronis, is situated on a hill on the right bank of the river Alpheios, near its confluence with the Lousios.
Stone mansions, cobbled streets, Byzantine churches, a medieval Frankish castle, water streams and small bridges make up the backdrop of the beautiful village on the slopes of Arcadia. The village, also called the 5-thousand village due to the fact it was depicted on the 5-thousand-drachma note before Greece adopted the Euro, saw men, women wearing head-scarves with sickles in hand descend the road Karytaina-Atzichou, just outside the village.
Following the adults were kids running, reviving a time of the past. The event themed “Revival of Harvesting and Threshing” took place at a manor on the Karytaina-Atsicholos street on the banks of Lousios river.
The event was organised by the Karytaina Athens and Piraeus Association called “Theodoros Kolokotronis” in collaboration with village’s primary school and other students from surrounding schools.
Men and women start to harvest giving us a glimpse of times past. “Difficult but nice work,” says a grandmother. “Difficult, but nice work,” repeats a child bursting out in laughter. The onlookers of the event are excited and amazed, even the Metropolitan of Megalopolis, Jeremiah takes part in the harvesting process with a sickle. The sun is well up, but nobody seems to care. They keep going.
The women offer cold water to quench the thirst of those watching and taking part. They also hand out treats. Then dancing breaks out and you are drawn into the circle reminiscing old customs and traditions.
The events, which included harvesting, followed by horse threshing, fanning, distillation, were attended by Arkadia MP of SYRIZA George Papailiou, the mayor of Iliou of Attica Nikos Zenetos, the mayor of Megalopolis Dionysios Papadopoulos and hundreds of visitors.