The term is etymologically derived from the Greek verb “klio”, which means to
call someone with pleasant sounds. It is a derived word from the ancient term “the
klideon”, which means a divine sign, the hearing of an omen or prophecy. The name
is already found in Homer, Aeschylus, Herodotus and Pausanias.
In the Old Testament, there is a reference to the Kledon and divination ceremonies
as early as the period of the Jews’ exodus from Egypt (circa 1500 BC). In the last
years of the roman empire the custom is found as a worship of the Sun. In the
Christian calendar, during the byzantine period the custom was associated with Saint
John the Baptist, as the most important prophet.
Afterwards, the custom will be included in the modern Greek folk tradition and
specifically in religious customs that accompany the seasons of the year and will be
widely spread. The custom is performed on May 1 or June 24, and during its duration,
the identity of the future husband is revealed to unmarried girls. It is a predominantly
female custom, which provided the girls with the opportunity for informal public
exposure through dancing and singing, as well as socializing with the opposite sex. A
custom of love with a ritual of love expression.
Detailed description:
In the village of Palaiomonastero Trikala (Thessaly) on the first of May, a group of
unmarried girls gathered in the central square of the village, each holding a bouquet of
flowers. Among the flowers was a ring. Among them they chose the oldest girl in age,
who carried a clay urn, while the rest decorated it with flowers, garlands and colorful
roses. In some areas of Western Thessaly the rings from the bouquets were passed
through a belt, threaded through a chain and fastened high on the handle of the vessel.
Then they would put down the pot, hold hands in a circle and sing. The older girl
would take the bouquets, throw them into the trough, and then hide it in a
neighborhood garden for 24 hours. Then they set up a dance and danced to songs until
late. Younger girls kept aside to avoid the men grabbing the key. In some areas they
also sang songs about the content of the custom.
In the second phase, after 3 days, they would gather in the morning and the eldest
girl would bring the pot and the other girls would eagerly take their own bouquet of
flowers. For those of the young girls whose bouquets had been opened the most, it
was her turn to be married. Then they sprinkled themselves with water and said:
“Come and betrothed, married” and set up the dance again. After the end of the dance,
each girl threw the bouquet into the groove that had water so as not to lose the
freshness of the flowers. Then the girls, after returning home, would wash their hair
with the soapy water.
In conclusion, the girls with the splash of water were trying to dream of their future
fiance! They divined the young man they would marry as well as whether they would
have a beautiful youth until the coming spring!

National community center “Izgrev-1930”  Bulgaria

Manisa Valiligi  Turkey

MAKGED  Turkey