The Ragucharias, as the carnivals are called, take place from January 6 to 8 and are the climax of the Twelve Days' festivities. The events are attended by all Kastorians who pour into the streets to celebrate with dances, songs, banter and plenty of wine. The events culminate on the third day, the so-called pateritsa, with the great parade of disguised buns on the main street of the city. The name Ragucharia comes from the Latin rogatores, i.e. beggars, since the disguised ones ask the householders to give them gifts in order to ward off evil spirits.
Colliendas, the traditional carols, are sung on the night of Christmas Eve, by groups that go around the houses holding lanterns and "masialades".
Characteristic Halloween customs that are still observed are the buffoons, the haskaris, the old-timers. Bonfires are bonfires that are lit in the squares on Shrove Tuesday. All present jump over the burning coals "to throw the fleas and get rid of the evil."
Paliapoules is the corresponding custom that takes place in Argos Orestikos. At home, after dinner, they play the haskari game, that is, they try to grab a boiled egg with their mouths, which the oldest person holds hanging on the end of a thread.
Rodani is a handmade wooden swing, with two or four seats, which is set up from Palm Sunday to Thomas Sunday. Songs, music, dance and teasing accompany this Easter custom.
In the summer, on June 24, Klidonas is celebrated, which coincides with the feast of Saint John the Forerunner. The boys bring a branch with thorns which they decorate with fruit, while the girls bring "mute water" from the lake. The festival on the feast of the prophet Elias, patron of the fur industry, takes place in July.
The cultural events that take place during the year are the "Oresteia", the inter-Balkan choral festival of Argos Orestikos, the week of the Kastorian exile, Christopoulia and the cultural August, while the first weekend of August is organized the River party, a musical event that takes place on the banks of the Aliakmonas river in Nestorio and in which a large number of young people gather.
Among the most famous commercial events are the fur fair in April and the trade fair in Argos Orestiko, the last weekend of September.
In autumn, there are the tsipouro festival in Lithia, the bean festival in Lakkomata and the chestnut festival in Kastanofyto.
Editor: Niki Kalopaidis