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Kos, Kardamaina – The Festival of the Cup
The oldest festival on the island of Kos takes place in Kardamena on the day of the Birth of the Virgin Mary, September 8, during which the ‘dance of the cup’ takes place. Every year, the church brings together hundreds of faithful, both locals and visitors. In the church courtyard, dozens form a Greek oasis within a town filled with tourists. After the liturgy, the faithful take their place at a table for the serving of a meal. The food served to the faithful consists of a traditional pitaridia, a pasta of long hilopites with kokkinisto, usually goat. Dancing begins with the participation of the island’s dance groups. ‘Τhe dance of the cup’then begins. The priest leads the dance holding a cup in a wicker basket, followed by the counselors. Then, any couple that wants to dance comes forward. The wife takes the cup and takes the lead while her husband takes his wife by the hand and is followed by the other dancers in the line.Each couple does its dance and then passes the cup on to the next couple, which takes the cup and follows the same procedure. The dance of the cup goes on late into the night and when it is over, the dancers mix in with the faithful and continue on with other dances.