The custom of “Kapetanios” (Captain) is one of the customs that go far back in time. The history says that this custom started when Greece was under Turkish domination, and it was a clever way to get the conquerors to drink. Nowadays, one of the most famous traditions of Amorgos. It’s celebrated every year in the villages of Langada and Tholaria, the last Sunday of the Greek carnival and the day before Easter lent begins.
All the young boys are getting together in the main square of Langada and Tholaria. They walk together to the Panagia Epanochoriani church in Langada and Agios Dimitrios in Tholaria.
One of the oldest men in the village will choose the “Kapetanios”. In the past, the criteria for this choice were kindness, worthiness and good behaviour. During this procedure, the musicians play traditional Amorgian songs. The “Kapetanios” and his friends are getting dressed in traditional costumes. They also decorate the horse or the mule, who will carry the “Kapetanios” back to the village. One of “Kapetanios” friends will be the leader of the procession, called the “Bairaktaris”, the one that will hold the “bairaki”, a long wooden stick with a piece of cheese, a round loaf and an octopus on the top, symbolizing the end of the carnival and the beginning of the Lent.
The procession arrives with music at the entrance to the village, called “Portara”. The young ladies, dressed in traditional Amorgian costumes, are waiting to meet and talk to the “Kapetanios”. After, they follow him to the main square of the village. Before entering the village “Kapetanios” will run three times in a row with the horse in a straight line, as the tradition says. Arriving at the village, they pass by from every small street so everyone can see who is this year’s “Kapetanios”. The owners of the stores and the locals give sweets and raki to the people. Then they arrive in the main square, and “Kapetanios” will dance the first dance with his friends. Now is the time for “Kapetanios” to choose one of the young ladies to be his “Kapetanissa”, the young lady of his heart, by giving her his scarf. And now the celebration begins with dance, traditional music, food, and drinks until the morning.