Film info

Creator / Collector

Messolonghi is a town in western Central Greece, the capital of the prefecture of Aetoloakarnania.

We are in the town of Missolonghi during the three days of the Holy Spirit (Pentecost) holidays and we watch the events of the festival (an open air religious feasting) of St. Symeon (Ai-Symios), which is organized at the same day every year. It is a festival with a historical and religious character, as it has been established to honor the heroic siege of Messolonghi, at the site of the monastery of Ai Symios, a few kilometers away outside the town.

A festival’s distinguished feature is that it is composed exclusively by groups of men who are divided into "armed" pedestrians and "cavalrymen". Their local costumes are dulamades (gold embroidered coats), foustaneles (a traditional pleated skirt-like garment that is also referred to as a kilt worn by men), tsaprazia (cross chained jewels), belts-ornaments and ancestral weapons, relics, flags and banners. Each group has its own "zygia", a small group that is consisted of traditional Roma music players, with their ancient musical instruments (dauli -a large double-headed drum and zurna -a wind instrument), which we hear during the film.

The feast includes events in Messolonghi, a memorial prayer in the Garden of Heroes, where the first shots of the film are with the participants, the little boys who learn the custom and its spectators. The events continue on a main road outside the Garden, in the background we can see the church of Santa Paraskevi. The "groups" and the "zygies" pass by dancing, while we see the town’s hospital in the background.

The filmmaker continues to give us shots from the balcony. Spectators of all ages wait next to the Messolonghi Gate for the men who participate to pass by, we see the "Sofianos" car repair shop as well as a sign of the oil company "Mobil". The groups, but also as many citizens will head to the Monastery of St Symeon by car or on horse, to make a pilgrimage and continue the feast.

The general view with the Gate of the Holy City finds the participants the next day, on their return from the monastery and the parade and the dance in the streets of the town return.


Film Information

Tsamadias Spyros

HD (1440x1080)



Duration (seconds)

Super 8mm