The Pan-Thessalian Federation of NSW keeps traditions alive with Rougatsia celebration

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The Pan-Thessalian Federation of NSW “Karaiskakis” held an event on Saturday, January 14 in Sydney to commemorate the Greek New Year’s tradition of the cutting of the vasilopita and celebrate the custom of ‘Rougatsia’ for the second consecutive year.

The event, held at the Greek Community Club in Lakemba, brought together the Thessalian community and members of the wider Greek community for a lively and entertaining celebration.

The Rougatsia, a tradition that dates back centuries, features men dressing up as priests, husbands, wives, koumbaros (best men), groomsmen, and other comical characters. This unique custom offers participants and attendees a chance to experience the traditions and customs of Thessaly in a festive manner.

The Pan-Thessalian Federation of NSW “Karaiskaki cutting the vasilopita. Photo: Vasilios Vasilas
The Federation celebrated the custom of Rougatsia with costumes and dancing. Photo: Vasilios Vasilas

This year’s event saw an influx of new faces from Thessaly and other regions of Greece, as well as individuals who had not attended in a long time but were eager to witness the Rougatsia festivities firsthand. The president of the Federation, Asterios Tsintzas, delivered a speech, highlighting the significance of the event and expressing gratitude to all those who contributed to its success.

The president of the Federation, Asterios Tsintzas. Photo: Vasilios Vasilas

Notable guests included Athanasios Lambrou, Second General Counsellor for Public Diplomacy, who attended with his family and delivered a warm welcome speech. Despite having been in Australia for just one month, Mr Lambrou highlighted the importance of continuing Greek customs in the diaspora and praised the efforts of the Pan-Thessalian Federation in promoting cultural heritage. Costa Dantos, the secretary of the Federation, served as the emcee, ensuring the smooth flow of the event. Special recognition was given to Vaso Tsintzas, the coordinator of the Ladies’ Auxiliary, along with the entire Pan-Thessalian Federation “Karaiskakis” committee and the women’s group members who actively actively contributed to the event’s success.

The secretary of the Federation, Costa Dantos. Photo: Vasilios Vasilas

Among the distinguished guests were representatives from various Greek associations and organizations, including Costa Lianos, the President of AHEPA Australia; Katerina Vetsikas, President of the Pan-Achaian Philanthropic Association “Paleon Patron Germanos” and her committee; Nikos Fasoulas, President of the Serres Association “Pan-Serraikos” and former President of the Pan Macedonian Federation of NSW; Costa Dantos, President of the Chalkidiki Brotherhood of NSW; George Tourtouras, representing the Kozani Association “O Lassanis”; Soula Rossidou from the Hasion Association; Angelos and Elena Matsoukas from Radio Symban; and Takis and Stavroula Papapetrou from the Aristotelion Academy of Traditional Greek Dance.

The Ancient Rougatsia festival organized by the Pan-Thessalian Federation “Karaiskakis” continues to be a vibrant celebration of Thessalian culture and traditions, bringing together the community in a joyous display of Greek heritage.

There were many new young faces at the event. Photo: Vasilios Vasilas
Pan-thessalian-federation-of-NSW
Photo: Vasilios Vasilas
The event commemorated the Greek New Year’s tradition of cutting the vasilopita. Photo: Vasilios Vasilas
Photo: Vasilios Vasilas

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