The Tranos Choros in Vlasti (Kozani)

The Tranos Choros (Grand / Magnificent Dance) is a traditional dance event based on the dual elements of «song – dance» (a capella vocals and dance), without the accompaniment of musical instruments. It bears a ritual character, passed on from one generation to the next. The term Tranos denotes the universal participation of the local community in its performance and its great importance to the community.

It was inscribed on the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2018.

1. Brief Presentation of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Element

a. The name under which the element is identified by its bearers:
The Tranos Choros in Vlasti (Kozani)
[Note: Tranos Choros means Grand / Magnificent Dance]

b. Other name(s)


c. Brief Description:
The Tranos Choros (Grand / Magnificent Dance) is a traditional dance event based on the dual elements of «song – dance» (a capella vocals and dance), without the accompaniment of musical instruments. It bears a ritual character, passed on from one generation to the next. The term Tranos denotes the universal participation of the local community in its performance and its great importance to the community.
For us Vlatsiotes, it is «Tranos», in other words, the important, grand dance, a symbol of our cultural identity.

d. ICH Domain
(a) Oral tradition and expressions
(b) Performing Arts
(c) Social practices – rituals – celebrations

e. Area where the element is to be found:
The event takes place in the local community of Vlasti, in the Municipality of Eordaia, Kozani Prefecture, Administrative Region of Western Macedonia.

f. Key words:
Dance, Tranos Choros, Vlasti, August 15 (Dekapentavgoustos), communal-social-
dance, customs, ritual

2. Identity of the bearer of the ICH element.

a. Who is the bearer of the element?

Bearers of the element are all inhabitants of Vlasti, and any participant at the event, whose origins are from Vlasti. Nowadays, the dance is performed not only by permanent residents of the community, but also by Vlatsiotes who, although no longer inhabitants in their land of origin, make a point of returning to visit every summer, with the aim of reconnecting with their village and reconfirming their group identity.

b. Location

Address: Vlasti Local Community of the Eordaia Municipality,
Vlasti, Kozani
Postcode: 50003
Tel. 6972-477973
FAX: 24633-50129 (Attn. Ms Lampa)

c. Further information on the element:

Competent persons who can voluntarily provide further information on the element:

1. Minas Dalakiouris, President of Vlasti Community of the Eordaia Municipality

2. Konstantinos Tziolas, Obstetrician – Gynaecologist, Collector and recorder of intangible and tangible cultural heritage elements

3. Glykeria Patsika (author)
(for her details, see below, at the end of the bulletin)

4. Dimitris Bagkavos (author)
(for his details, see below, at the end of the bulletin)

3. Detailed description of the ICH element, as found today

The Tranos Choros (Grand/ Magnificent Dance) is danced annually in Vlasti (whose old name is Blatsi), a rural village of Western Macedonia, in the afternoon of July 27, day of the feast of Saint Panteleimon, as well as on the two days of the feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, on August 15 and 16. The feast of the Virgin Mary had always been the community’s major festivities. In August, besides the permanent inhabitants, the village has always been a gathering point for the families of livestock breeders before their descent to winter pastures, as well as for Vlatsiotes living in urban centres, who come to Vlasti for their summer holidays.
Even nowadays, the Tranos Choros is the culmination of all festive, religious and social events that take place during the festival of August 15, which begins in Vlasti on the 14th and ends on August 16. The celebration offers a perfect opportunity for gatherings, entertainment, as well as community events and celebrations. On the eve of the Virgin’s feast, following vespers, the village square fills with all us Vlatsiotes, there to participate in our deeply-rooted local customs, to meet friends and relatives and to celebrate until the early morning hours in the traditional tavernas, to the sounds of local musical intruments. The feast of the Virgin Mary is celebrated in accordance with the formal Greek Orthodox ritual of Holy Mass. The litany of the icon takes place in the morning of August 16 and is usually accompanied by the local music band. Just before, but also after the church service, is the time for villagers’ gatherings, visits to relatives, as well as more family gatherings and in the evening, without fail, dancing to the sounds of the local traditional music band.
However, during these three-day celebrations, the hearts of all us Vlatsiotes beat hard at the Tranos dance, this exceptionally important community event, in which we participate annually, not only as dancers but also as spectators. «We need to confess (…) our yearning for this annual meeting which all Vlatsiotes of the diaspora expect and look forward to. Otherwise, we don’t feel the changes of the seasons. It’s as though time stands still…» (Tziafetas 1990, p.31). During the two-day August feast, the Tranos Choros is danced three times. Once in the afternoon of the feast day, then in the morning of the following day, August 16, after Mass and the litany of the Virgin’s icon, and finally in the afternoon of the same day.
The Tranos dance in Vlasti, is not just a simple dance event; rather, it becomes an act of community. It is a ritual, communal dance performed with the aim of enacting the ritual established by tradition. That is why it has its own rules. These rules define what time the dancers gather, their hierarchical position in the circle, the dance pattern, the order of songs – at least the first and last ones – the specific dance motifs. These rules impart a distinctive style and character to the event. All participants, whether performers or audience, honour the event by wearing our best clothes and make it a point to be punctual for our annual meeting. We are all there, in an orderly and proper manner, to participate in the event, which is performed following the predetermined pattern, formally, yet in an intensely emotionally charged spirit.
The Tranos dance festivities begin at 7 p.m. in the Livadia (Meadows) area. Older people know exactly where to stand to begin singing and dancing. Over time, attendance increases. Each new arrival to the dance, who knows the formalities and the songs, upon joining the dance, begins to sing and dance. Gradually, a large open dance circle is formed, constantly expanding as new dancers join.
The Tranos dance is not accompanied by musical instruments. Hierarchy, based on gender and age, is a charcteristic of its structure. The men lead the dance, positioned in order of seniority. In the men’s group, good singers are placed at the beginning of the circle, or at least before the women, acting as their vocal support. Recently, a differentiation is noted in the men’s group. Those wearing traditional dress go first, followed by everyone else, invariably in order of seniority. They are followed by the women, with those wearing traditional dress leading; the eldest and best singer is first. In the past, age was the criterion for each woman’s position in the dance circle. In the case of women of the same age, the criterion was their wedding date. Traditionally, the leading dancer was the eldest, an expert on both songs and rhythm. Nowadays, the leading dancer’s position is interchanged amongst three or four women, who know the songs perfectly, since the number of elderly persons in the community is steadily diminishing.
The dance begins at the moment when the leading dancer crosses his left foot over the right. It is a particularly symbolic move, with the leading dancer raising his left leg and holding it above the right for the dance to begin. For the Tranos dance, this move has the same tole as the raising of the conductor’s baton in a symphony orchestra. The movement is accompanied by a simultaneous move of the hand holding the kerchief and the rendering of the first verse of the song. The lead dancer is joined in song by most of the men. The lyrics are repeated by the women’s semi-chorus and the men who are last in line. The dance steps – three-steps and «in-out» – are short, heavy, steady and rhythmical, following the songs’ rhythm. The structure of the Tranos dance, with the lead dancer and part of the men’s group singing the first verse, which is then repeated by all the others as they dance – creates a feeling of homogeneity and at the same time one of simplicity and austerity. Sober, imposing, theatrical, the dance expresses the collective feeling of community.
The Tranos Dance is not simply a performance integrated in the annual cycle of community events. To us, this dance is not just entertainment, it is an experience. When we dance, we see this as the enactment of a ritual, with each participant holding the role of operator, and in which all members have the role of celebrant. We sing in unison, but our bodies, following the slow, rythmical steps, are subjected to each individual’s inner silence. Soul, mind and spirit, at that precise moment, become one, an intense poetic voice. Thoughts about life, death, struggles, creation, love are condensed in a few verses, through dance and song.
A more personal-empirical performance factor, for each Vlatsiote, is the recall to memory of all the local, timeless songs sung on this particular occasion, which are associated with each individual’s personal experiences. A sound, an image, a smell are enough for «the past» to come storming into the «here and now».
The Tranos dance is a historically established event and, through its performance as a unique symbol of identity, it succeeds in gathering the community together, thus achieving a sense of belonging, filling all of us Vlatsiotes with pride. It is a genuinely grand dance, highlighting the continuity of tradition, at the same time confirming, renewing and promoting the preservation of our cultural characteristics and identity, as it encompasses all comrehensive and cohesive elements of the Vlatsiote community. The prolonged applause closing the Tranos dance and the wish expressed by all to meet again the following year, promise the renewal of community bonds and the preservation of our community collective memory.
Over time, there have been changes at different phases of the Tranos Dance history. Its essence, however, remains the same: to ensure its historical continuity, preserve it in the memory of the young and to reinforce the deeply rooted «sense of belonging» to this community.

4. Location/ facilities and equipment connected to the performance of the ICH element

«For traditional worldview, each place is charged with a particular meaning»
(Kyriakidou-Nestoros 19892, p.16)

Vlasti is built on the eastern side of a plateau formed between the mountains Askio (Siniatsikos) and Mouriki. The other part is taken up by a vast, green expanse, the meadows – Livadia (placename Livadia, see photo). This expanse of the Vlasti meadows – with no properietorial markings – to the west of the community and in direct contact with it, is the location where the event always takes place. It combines ample space for the large number of dancers, direct access to the residential part of the village and the allure of the landscape, the view of which awakens a sense of beauty and whose aesthetics evoke powerful emotion.
To us Vlatsiotes, this place is intensely, emotionally charged, as it is connected to memories of our personal experiences, by encompassing all those signs that trigger our memories. Landmarks, marks that guide us to see behind things, to read our own personal story. To our left is the village, the houses, our family home, our childhood. Directly opposite, Tzoumka, the low green hill, where we used to play and gaze over the village. To our right, Saint Panteleimonas with its chapel, almost permanently capped by gray clouds, our patron Saint. At the edge of the meadows are the immensely tall, slender poplar trees, where we used to rest after our games. Then there’s the sky, that superb blue sky, which is hardly ever entirely cloudless. They all combine into a perfect setting, with the Tranos Choros at its centre, danced to the voices of the singers, echoing in these surroundings, evoking the forms of people long departed. This place, has existed and will always exist. To paraphrase the poet George Seferis, «as the pines retain the form of the wind, even when the wind has gone and is no longer there» 1, so does this place retain the words and form of man. This land is tantamount to the symbolisms, memories, imagery evoked by simply watching the repeated centuries-old performance of the Tranos dance. We all re-experience our past in this space.        

5. Products and material objects in general, as outcomes of the performance / practice of this ICH element

 There are no tangible items specifically connected with this particular event.

6. Historical evidence related to the ICH element

In the otherwise rich bibliography on Vlasti and its culture, there
are no references or descriptions of the Tranos Dance prior to the second half of the 20th century. The only early publication, of a folkloric nature, regarding the community, is by our compatriot Ast. Papadimitriou on the Vlatsiote wedding (Papadimitriou, 1912), as well as two publications by Kalinderis, on the custom of Klidonas (Kalinderis, 1930), and on births and christenings (Kalinderis, 1931). Early photographic evidence of the Tranos dance is only available dating from the first decades of the last century.
As for the changes to the event’s performance practices noted over time, these are as follows: firstly, there is a (partial) differentiation-
evolution in the expansion of the body of dancers. More specifically, oral and written information converge towards the fact that the event first occurs in the community as a custom of the semi-nomadic Vlatsiote livestock farmers (on the differentiation between transhumant and permanent members of the community, basically a guild issue recorded as important to the community, see Patsika, 1998). According to Kalinderis (1982, p.225), the latter begin to participate in the dance from the 1920s onward. While Drandakis (2015, p.13) agrees that evidence leads to the conclusion that this used to be a livestock farmers’ dance and that urbanised families did not participate; it has been many years this no longer applies and the Tranos dance is now an event concerning all social classes of Vlatsiotes Furthermore, a decline in the local vernacular is noted in the dance songs over the last decades and a gradual prevalence of standard Modern Greek, especially at the level of phonetics (regression of the local northern idiom): in the song opening the Tranos dance, «Simira echoumi kiro», in recent recordings has become, «Simera echoume kairo». And, perhaps unsurprisingly, « nowadays, progressively fewer people know the old songs well, not to mention that the local vernacular has almost disappeared» (Drandakis, op.cit. p.21).
Another evolution is observed in the changes to be found in the themes-lyrics of the songs. A typical case is the one noted in the first verse of the song Ai moré seis Tsalapaniotis (Vlachodimos, 1971, p.13; Kalinderis, op.cit., p.298). This is a change of the address Tsaraplaniotis, referring to the inhabitants of Tsaraplani, a settlement in Pogoni of the Ioannina prefecture (now named Vassiliko). In the second Vlachodimos edition, as well as in later recordings, the first verse has already become «Ki ai moré seis ki iseis moré Blatsiotis»! (19992, p.13).
A further differentiation is noted in the repertoire of songs sung «the song repertoire» according to Drandakis). According to Siokis-Paraschos (2001, pp.8- 9), both the number of repertoire songs for the event and the considerable length of some of them played a role: «In recent decades, due to the gradual decline in livestock farmer population and the increased participation of non-farmers in the Tranos dance, songs were introduced that are sung on other occasions (…). Several of them, however, have been superseded, due to their large number and their length» (Siokis-Paraschos, op.cit.).
In addition, over the last decades, a differentiating trend is noted in the order of dancers, both male and female. Whereas, traditionally, men precede, in order of age, «recently, men wearing the traditional village dress are placed first, followed by all the others, with the older men preceding; the same, more or less applies to the women, who also try to retain something of the old ritual (Drandakis, op.cit. pp. 17-18).
Finally, changes are noted in participants’ dress, namely in the variety of their costumes and appearance. Nowadays one may come across male participants not wearing the traditional dress or women wearing trousers, without it disturbing or contradicting the traditionality of the event’s performance. However, as Drandakis aptly notes (op.cit. p.22), «nowadays, participants have their own dynamics, and although they may not retain the aesthetics of the past, this does not affect the essence of the event, which remains splendid and admirable, in the manner it is self- defined and re-enacted every season».

7. The significance of the element today

For all us Vlatsiotes, The Tranos Dance is the peak event within the cycle of our community events. In fact, over the past decades, with the population of Vlasti diminishing during the winter months, the Tranos dance presents us with the opportunity to get together, join our voices and souls in unison through song, and to declare our common shared origin. It is the dance which binds us together over time, connects us to our origins and is the most important element in how we define ourselves.
Furthermore, Vlatsiotes are deeply moved by the memory and recollection of all the deceased members of the community who once used to participate in the Tranos dance, at the same location and the same event.
The importance to contemporary Greek society of the Tranos dance, as performed in Vlasti, lies in the fact that the perfect location, allowing for an uninterrupted experiential performance (rather than its revival), the imposing surrounding landscape, as well as the self- awareness of participants create a unique element of cultural heritage, which expresses the cultural identity of this particular community and the broader region.


8. Preservation / promotion of the element today

(a) How is the element transmitted to younger generations today?

The transmission of the event from one generation to the next is the outcome of experiential initiation, rather than the result of an apprenticeship process. The young community members, having observed from a very young age the actual perforamnce of the event, become potential participants and actors. This experiential manner of learning remains unaltered until today.
In general, all participants who have empirically learnt how to become part of the Tranos dance are simultaneously transmitters of this knowledge. However, each family remains the main agent for transmission of the element, acting as a role model and a driving force for its members’ participation. At a collective level, one may also consider local associations of Vlatsiotes (in Thessaloniki, Larisa, Volos, Ptoleimaida, Kastoria) as agents for transmission of the event; they make systematic efforts to record the Tranos dance songs and the manner in which they are rendered.

(b) Measures taken in the past or currently (at a local, regional or broader scale) for the preservation/ promotion of the element

 The Tranos dance and its songs have been recorded in printed or electronic format and the relevant material has been published privately, by a number of individuals, Vlatsiotes or not . Over the last decades, state and private bodies have acted in a similar spirit and made audio and video recordings of the event in its traditional location (see below, for the visual and audio items included in this Bulletin).

(c) Preservation/promotion measures proposed for future implementation (at a local, regional or broader scale)

Because the Tranos Dance is dynamic and its annual performance is, at present, considered a given, it is not necessary to take any special measures for further safeguarding and promotion. However, this does not mean we should overlook the possible risk that some of its once inviolable performance rules (knowledge of the songs and lyrics, manner of performance, order of participation in the dance circle) might be altered as they are passed on to younger generations. In this case, we are optimistic that the community itself will become activated through its local assossiations in the Vlatsiotes’ current locations of residence, as has already happened on a number of occasions. In the face of such a possibility, local associations are expected to organise classes for the correct performance of these songs, to publish instructions for the proper performance of the event (see the present Bulletin’s Documentation below, concerning both the above initiatives), as well as to purchase traditional costumes for the particular event.
The Tranos Dance is recognized as an element of our cultural heritage and we can ensure its preservation, passing it on to our children, although most of us no longer live permanently in our land of origin. The aim of the Vlatsiotes community is to preserve this custom through our continued participation, and our persistence in its preservation, even though many elements of the past no longer carry the same dynamics and are no longer performed in the exact same manner. The community, as a living organism, adapts to the new conditiona and social reality, at the same time actively ensuring the preservation of its cultural heritage. In an increasingly changing and imbalanced reality it is impossible for the community not to be open to changes. These changes, however, may be accepted only to the extent that they ensure the preservation of the event in the future.

Nevertheless, we propose some measures to highlight the importance of the Tranos Dance in Vlasti over time, which are:

1. Organisation of exhibitions, to showcase the timelessness of the element and the changes it has experienced over time.
2. Writing of postgraduate and doctoral theses in the spirit of the above.
3. Conducting folkloric and anthropological research, comparing the Tranos Dance of Vlasti to other similar events held in other areas of Western Macedonia and elsewhere.

9. Basic Bibliography

Βαρβαρούσης, Ι. (2006), Μπλάτσι: Η ιστορική κοινότητα Βλάστης Δυτικής Μακεδονί- ας (Φωτογραφικό λεύκωμα), Εκδόσεις Ερωδιός, Θεσσαλονίκη. [Varvarousis, I. (2006), Blatsi: I istoriki kinotita Vlastis Dytikis Makedonias / Blatsi: The historical Community of Vlasti, Western Macedonia (A photographic album)]

Βασβατέκη, Μ. (2009), Τα τραγούδια που τραγουδούν στη Βλάστη, Σύλλογος

Βλατσιωτών Πτολεμαϊδας «Ο Προφήτης Ηλίας» – επιθεώρηση Παρέμβαση.[Vasvateki, M. (2009) Ta tragoudia pou tragoudoun sti Vlasti: The songs sung in Vlasti ]

Βλαχοδήμος, Ι. (19771, 19992), Μπλατσιώτικα τραγούδια του τρανού χορού, Πτολεμαΐδα Κοζάνης-Χάμιλτον Καναδά. [Vlachodimos, I. (19771, 19992) Blatsiotika tragoudia tou tranou chorou / Vlatsiote songs of the Tranos dance.]

Δρανδάκης, Λ. (2015), Ο τρανός χορός στη Βλάστη Κοζάνης, Λύκειο των Ελληνίδων, Αθήνα. [Drandakis, A. (2015) O tranos choros sti Vlasti Kozanis / The tranos dance at Vlasti in Kozani.]

Καλινδέρης, Μ. (1930), Ο Αγιάννης στο Μπλάτσι της Κοζάνης, Μακεδονικόν Ημερολόγιον (Ν. Σφενδόνη) 6 (1930), σσ. 151-6.
[Kalinderis, M. (1930) O Agiannis sto Blatsi tis Kozanis / Agiannis (St. John) at Vlasti in Kozani]

Καλινδέρης, Μ. (1931), Η γέννηση και τα βαφτίσια, Μακεδονικόν Ημερολόγιον (Ν. Σφενδόνη) 7 (1931), σσ. 253-8. [Kalinderis, M. (1931), I gennisi kai ta vaftisia / Birth and christenings.]

Καλινδέρης, Μ. (1982), Ο βίος της κοινότητος Βλάτσης επί τουρκοκρατίας (εις το πλαίσιον του δυτικομακεδονικού περιβάλλοντος), Εταιρεία Μακεδονικών Σπουδών, Θεσσαλονίκη. [Kalinderis, M. (1982), O vios the koinotitos Vlastis epi tourkokratias (eis to plaision tou dytikomakedonikou perivallontos). / Life in the community of Vlasti during Ottoman rule (within the framework of the West Macedonian environment. ]

Κυριακίδου-Νέστορος, Άλ. (19892), Σημάδια του τόπου ή η λογική του ελληνικού τοπίου, Λαογραφικά Μελετήματα Ι, Ε.Λ.Ι.Α., Αθήνα, σσ. 15-40. [Kyriakidou-Nestoros, Al. (19892) Simadia tou topou i i logiki tou ellinikou topiou. /Signs of place or the logic of the Greek landscape.]

Παπαδημητρίου, Αστ. (1912), Τα κατά τον γάμον των εν Βλάτση της Μακεδονίας Ελληνοβλάχων, Μακεδονικόν Ημερολόγιον Αθηνών 1912, σσ. 212-22. [Papadimitriou, Ast. (1912) Ta kata ton gamon ithi kai ethima tvn en Vlasti tis Makedonias Ellinovlachon // Wedding customs and practicrs of the Greek-Αromanians of Vlasti in Macedonia.]

Πατσίκα, Γλ. (1998), Οι σχέσεις «Βλάχων»-«Γκραίκων» στη Βλάστη Κοζάνης, από τις αρχές του αιώνα μας έως σήμερα, Θεσσαλονίκη (δακτυλ. μεταπτ. διπλωμ. εργασία). [Patsika, Gl. (1998), Oi scheseis «Vlachon»-«Gkraikon» sti Vlasti Kozanis apo tis arches tou aiona mas eos simera.// The relations between «Vlachs»(Aromanians)» and «Graikans» in Vlasti of Kozani from the beginnings of the century to the present.

Πατσίκα, Γλ. (2009), Λαογραφικά της Βλάστης, Ελιμειακά 63, σσ. 200-08. [Patsika, Gl. (2009), Laografika tis Vlastis // Folclore of Vlasti.]

Σιώκης, Ν.-Παράσχος, Δημ. (2001), Οι Βλάχοι του Μουρικίου και του Σινιάτσικου, Εκδόσεις Χριστοδουλίδη, Θεσσαλονίκη. {Siokis, N. – Paraschos, Dim. (2001), Oi Vlachoi tou Mourikiou kai tou Siniatsikou.// The Aromanians of Mouriki and Siniatsiko.]

Τζιαφέτας, Γ. (1990), Οι Βλατσιώτες ευεργέτες, στις Ομιλίες κατά το διήμερο των εκδηλώσεων υπέρ των ευεργετών στην Πτολεμαΐδα και τη Βλάστη στις 12 & 13 Αυγούστου 1989, Σύλλογος Βλατσιωτών Αθηνών, Αθήνα, σσ. 31-53.
[Tziafetas, G. (1990), Oi Vlatsiotes evergetes. // Vlatsiotes benefactors.]

Τζιώλας, Κ. (επιμ.) (2010), Βλάστη: μια ιστορική και φωτογραφική περιήγηση.
[Tziolas, K. (ed.) (2010, Vlasti: mia istoriki kai fotografiki periigisi. // Vlasti: a historical and photographic tour.]

Τριανταφύλλου-Πολυμενίδου, Κ. (2008), Το δημοτικό τραγούδι και πότε τραγουδιέται, Θεσσαλονίκη. [Triantafyllou-Polymenidou, K. (2008), To dimotiko tragoudi kai pote tragoudietai.// Folk songs and when it is sung.]

Τσίρος, Ζ. (1964), Η Βλάστη (τ. Μπλάτσι), Θεσσαλονίκη. [Tsiros, Z/ (1964) Vlasti (formerly Blatsi). ]

10. Complementary Documentation

ι. Songs of the Tranos Dance (Lyrics)
(The citations are indicative. Of a total repertoire of over twenty songs used over time in the event, we list only twelve below, which have been published as Tranos dance songs by two of the local compilers, Kalinderis (1982) and Triantafyllou-Polymenidou (2008)1

1. Simera echoume kiro [We have time today]
Simira echoume kiro na vgoume stou sirgiani
na masoume grammatikoi, na masoume papadis,
n’ anoixoumi tis ikklisies, na idoumi ta vaggelia,
Na idoumi ki tin Panagia, pos stronei, pos koimati,
Koimati sta triantafylla, gyrnieti sta louloudia.

We have time today to go out for a stroll
To gather learned people, to gather priests,
To open churches, to see the bibles,
To see the Virgin, how she makes her bed, how she sleeps,
She sleeps on roses, she lays down on blossoms.

2. Tou vrady vgainei ou Avgirinos [The morning star rises in the evening]
Tou vrady vgainei ou avgerinos ki tou tachia i poulia,
tou misimeri ou vasilias na lafoukynigisei (OR lagou-)
mi titrakosious archountis, m’ ixinta tsiaousiades (OR sioumpasiadis)
Ki mi tou riga toun ygio ki mi toun Koustantinou,
Oulimiris kynigisan ki tou kinigi de vrikan.
Ki afto t’ argo t’ argoutsikou…

The morning star rises in the evening and the Pleiades rise early,
And at noon the king goes hunting deer (or hares) ,
With four hundred lords and sixty officers,
And with the king’s son and Konstantine,
They hunted all day but found no game
And that was late…

3. Soultana Virginada [Willowy Sultana]

Katou stoun Agiou Thodourou, Soultana, Soultana,
Stoun Agiou Koustantinou, Soultana virginada!
Panigyritsi genountan, megalou panigyri,
Tou panigyri itan pouly ki ou topous itan ligous,
Saranta diplis o chouros, ki ixinta dyo trapezia ( kagelia)
Kratei n (vastai) ou drakous tou niro, dipsai tou panigyri,
• Apolna, draki m’, tou niro na pii tou panigyri (dipsai tou panigyri).
Down at Saint Theodore, Sultana, Sultana,
At Saint Constantine, willowy Sultana,
There was a feast, a great feast,
The feast was large and the space was small,
The dance formed forty circles and had sixty feasting companions
The dragon holds back the water, the revellers are thirsty
Dragon, let the water flow, for the revellers to drink.

4. Katou stous tranous tous kampous [Down at the great plains]

Katou stous tranous tous kampous ki sta prasina livadia
espeira spyri krithari, fytrousi margaritari,
Giomousin ou kampous olous ki evala pir’ssous irgatis
Evala ki ena liventi gia na denei ta dimatia.

Down by the great plains and the green meadows
I sowed a grain of barley, and pearl grew,
The entire plain was covered and I hired additional workers
I also got a handsome lad to tie the sheaves.

5. Mia Maroudia, kali Roumia [A certain Maroudia, a
good Greek]

Mia Maroudia, more (kali) Roumia, mia Maroudia ‘p’ ta
Diftera m;era kinisi na paei gia ‘simochouma,
‘Simochouma ki asprochouma.
Skipari den tiw elachi ki mi ta nychia to ‘vgani
Ki mi t’ asimoumachirou (mi ta nychoupodara)
Ki ‘pesin t’ asimochouma ki plakousin ti Maroudia
Skouzei, founazei i Maroudia, pou ‘sti ‘dirfakia m’ kardiaka.

A certain Maroudia, a good Greek, a certain Maroudia from Giannena,
Set off on a Monday morning to fetch silver soil,
Silver soil and white soil,
She had no hoe and she dug it up with her nails
And with a silver knife (with her toenails)
And the silver soil fell and crushed Maroudia
Maroudia screams and shouts, where are you, my beloved brothers.

6. Ou Milious ou pramatiftis [Milios, the peddler]

Ou Milious ou pramatevtis, ou Milious ou strachtiotis
Mor’ Marou margiouli
Ou Milious ou strachtiotis
Giourgaki m’ ki aderfe m’
Sernei moularia triantadyo ki moulis triantapenti.
Sernei kai mia chrysomoula na pirpatei kavalla.
Toun iskiou iskiou paini, toun iskiou apou ta dentra,
Min toun maranei (parei) ou kourniachtos, na min toun kapsei ou ilious.

Milios the peddler, Milios the soldier
Maro Margioli,
Milios the soldier
My brother George,
Leads thirty-two mules and thirty-five mule mares,
And also leads a golden mule to ride.
He walked along the shade, the shade of the trees,
Not to be dried out (be taken) by the dust, not to be burnt by the sun.

7. Mes stou Bougdanou toi vouni [On the mountain of Bogdanos]

Mes stou Bougda-, more Roumia, mes stou Bougdanou toi vouni treis lygiris anevinan.
Anevinan katevinan na masoun t’ agiou ‘marantou ki tou melissouvotanou.
Ki dipsasan oi lygires, paisan na pioun kryou niro.
Sti riza pou tou mazounan, vriskoun tou lavoumenou
Stou aima voutigmenou.
-Manna m’. na toun iparoumi, gampron gia na toun kanoumi
Stin aderfi mas ti mikri.

On the mountain of Bogdanos climb three slender girls
They go up, they go down, to gather the holy amaranth and
lemon balm,
And the slender girls felt thirsty and went to drink cold water.
At the foot of the mountain where they gathered it, they find
the wounded man
Soaked in blood.
– Mother, let’s take him home and keep him as a husband
for our younger sister.

8. Gkioufyri eicha sti thalassa [ I had a bridge by the sea.]

Gioufyri eicha sti thalassa, more ki skala den ‘tan alli,
Mori mavropmatousa,
Treis lygires, anevinan tou xarou aroutousan
Deixi mas, chari, deixis mas, pote the na pithanou.
• Ti na sou deixou, kori mou, maraineti i kardia sou.
San echeis roucha, foris’ ta, flouria min ta
San echeis ki alougou gourgo, pirpata panigyria.
Tin Kyriakitsa porchiti, th alli parapanou.

I had a bridge by the sea, there was no better mooring,
my black-eyed girl,
three slender girls were climbing and askin Death
Show us Death, show us when I am going to die.
– What can I show you my lass, your heart is withering.
If you have clothes, wear them, if you have florins, don’t feel sorry,
If you have a fast horse, go to all the feasts.
This coming Sunday, the nest one.

9. Akou toi pouli, Biina m’ [Listen to the bird, my Bey’s wife]

Akou toi pouli, akou toi pouli, Biina m’ (bre gie mou)
Pos mourfoulali ki leei
Gia tin anoixi, tou chinopourou
Tourkoi diavinan ki Gianitsaroi
Gia mia omourfi, bre gyie mou, gia mia omourfi
Sernei tou chouro toun kagkilouto.

Listen to the bird, listen to the bird, my Bey’s wife (OR my son)
How it sings beautifully and talks
Of spring, of autumn
When Turks and Janissaries marched past
For a beauty, my son, for a beauty
Who leads the whirling dance.

10. Ai more ‘seis Tsalapaniotis [Hey, you, Tsalapaniotes]

Ai more ‘seis Tsalapaniotis, opou pati, mon’ pinesti?
«Tou chourio mas den patieti,
Ti echoumi poulla doufekia
Ki pirissia pallikaria
[echoumi portes asimenies, kleidounies malamatenies».

Hey, you, Tsalapaniotes, wherever you go you brag?
« Our village can’t be taken,
because we have many guns
and many brave men
[we have silver doors, [and] gold locks].

11. Stou Ai-Thanassi tin avli [In the courtyard of Ai-Thanassis]

Stou Ai-Thanassi tin avli, er, stou marmarou stroumeni,
Mi moulivi skipasmeni,
Chrysoi poulaki stekei ki lalei, er, mourfolalei ki leei:
Ki tou Chatzigianni leei:
«Toi pou ‘sti iseis i archontissis, mor’, ki iseis oi archountoupoulis
ti mas erchounti zourmpadis ta Giraneia na patisoun
ki archounta na min afisoun
Stou Grivino gioumatisan, mor’, stin akra ‘p’ tou gioufyri,
Estisan ki ena tziantiri.

In the courtyard of Saint Thanassis, paved in marble
Covered in lead,
A little gold bird sits and sings, sings beautifully and says:
« Oh, where are you Ladies and Noble Maiden
because unruly armed men are coming to take Geraneia and
leave no nobleman alive
They dined at Greveno, beside the bridge, and pitched a tent.

12. Ap’ ta triagkourfa vouna [From the three-peaked mountains]

Ap’ ta triagkourfa vouna
amaxi kativainei
amaxi sidiromaxou
malama fourtoumenou.
Treis ilafinis to ‘syrnan
Ki dyo kala moularia
Varati gia na ftasoumi
St prasina livadia.
Na pioun oi moules mas niro
Ta lafia mas chourtari
Ki imeis na gioumatisoumi
T’ afratou paximadi.

From the three-peaked mountains
A carriage rolls down
A carriage, an iron carriage
Laden with gold.
It was drawn by three doe
And two fine mules
Spur them on so we may reach
The green meadows.
Our mules will drink water
Our deer grass
And we will dine on
The light rusk
II. Document of the Larissa Vlatsiotes Association on the appropriate
performance of the Tranos Dance in Vlasti every summer.



i. Σύλλογος Βλατσιωτών Πτολεμαϊδας «Ο Προφήτης Ηλίας» (2012), Τραγούδια του Τρανού Χορού, Παραγωγή: Ζιώγας (Γρεβενά), Πτολεμαΐδα (Ψηφιακός δίσκος συνοδευόμενος από εισαγωγικό σημείωμα, τα κείμενα των τραγουδιών και φωτογραφικό υλικό) [Syllogos Vlatsioton Ptolemaidas «O ProfitisIlias» (2012) Tragoudia tou Tranou Chorou // «Prophet Elias», Ptolemaida Association of Vlatsiotes. Songs of the Tranos Dance. (A digital record, accompanied by an introductory note, the lyrics of the songs and archival photographs)

ii. Τζιώλας Κ. (2017), Ο Τρανός χορός της Βλάστης (Ψηφιακός δίσκος συνοδευόμενος από εισαγωγικό σημείωμα, τα κείμενα των τραγουδιών και αρχειακό φωτογραφικό υλικό) [Tziolas, K. (2017), O Tranos choros tiw Vlastis // The Tranos dance of Vlasti (A digital record, accompanied by an introductory note, the lyrics of the songs and archival photographs)

iii. Stand-alone photographs (included in this Bulletin) and videos of the Tranos dance (quite a variety of the latter can be found online ( by searching keywords such as Tranos Choros, Tranos Dance, Vlasti.


i. Ο Τρανός Χορός στη Βλάστη Κοζάνης, στο Τόποι και Τρόποι. [ Ο Tranos Choros sti Vlasti Kozanis.// The Tranos Choros in Vlasti, Kozani in, Topoi kai Tropoi] (

ii. Βασβατέκη Ρ. (2016), Και ο «Τρανός Χορός» της Βλάστης στον
Κατάλογο της UNESCO, εφημ. Πτολεμαίος, 14/12/2016, Πτολεμαΐδα
[Vasvateki R. (2016), The «Tranos Choros» of Vlasti also on the
UNESCO Inventory; Ptolemaios Newspaper, 14/12/2016. Ptolemaida]
and online:

iii. Ο Τρανός Χορός στα λιβάδια της Βλάστης, εφημ. Ελευθερία 23/8/2017,
Λάρισα [O Tranos Choros sta livadia tis Vlastis,// The Tranos Choros
on the meadows of Vlasti, Eleftheria newspaper 23/8/2017, Larisa] and

11. Details of the Bulletin’s Authors
  • Dimitris Ch. Bagkavos, Linguist
    Ph.D. History of the Greek Language
    Research Fellow of the Center for the Greek Language
  • Glykeria N. Patsika, Philologist
    M.Sc. in Folklore and Social Anthropology

 γ. Place and Date the Bulletin was written

Thessaloniki, April-December 2017.


* The form of the element: Tranos Choros in Vlasti (English)

Short film of the Tranos Choros in Vlasti: ΥοuTube