Visitors to Kos will not want to miss one of the island’s most time-honored gastronomy traditions, Choirosfagia, the meat festival celebrated throughout the Cyclades for centuries.
The time-honored pig slaughter before Christmas signals the season for locals and the festive food and dance traditions make for a colorful and tasty attraction for tourists.
Choirosfagia in Pyli
Co-hosted by the Pyli Educational, Cultural & Environmental Club “Apellis” & DOPAVS, this year’s event for tourists will be held at St.Nicholas’ Square in Pyli on October 1st. Situated just 15 kilometers southwest of Kos town and about 4 kilometers south of Marmari, this quaint village is the perfect backdrop for celebrating Choirosfagia and enjoying the beautiful traditional stone houses, the lovely central square, and the traditional coffee houses and small taverns that Pyli’s residents frequent daily. When you drive from Astir Odysseus you can reach the village in less than 30 minutes.
Traditionally, the slaughter of a pig and the amusement that follows is from the Byzantine era. According to the ritual, Choirosfagia is supposed to last for three days and to follow a fairly strict procedure. On the first day begins the slaughtering of the pigs followed by the making of the paspalades or skin cut in small pieces, which is then fired to obtain fat. In the second step, the pig is chopped into pieces, some used for mincemeat, others for steaks, smoked meat, and so on.
The second day the famous Andros sausages are made and hung up until the next day to be finally placed into special containers with fat that will keep them fresh. This tradition is an excuse for yet another social gathering.
The third day, or the day of the Holy Spirit, sees gatherings in the evening when participants can taste local products.
However, the celebrities in Pyli, designed for touristic purposes, are only lasting one day. The rich program of the day will feature live Greek folk music, and participants will enjoy dancing with the locals. It is a festivity that unites the local community with good food and great wines. This is an event organized by the Kos Municipal Organisation for Culture, Sports, and Nurseries for the Cultural Summer 2016. In fact, Choirosfagia is the culmination of this program. The dates for Choirosfagia vary every year.
Besides the food, dance, and entertainment festivities, you’ll also enjoy the scenery and attractions in and around the village. At the north entrance, there’s a magnificent lake, that was created by the Ottomans for irrigation purposes. Then there’s the length of Konstantinou Palailogou Street, the Traditional Pyli House on the village square, a magical spring flowing from the nearby mountains, and even the ruins of an ancient aqueduct.