Local traditions

One day before the “Sheep's Milk Measuring” the sheepfold host goes together with other villagers to the place where the festival is to be held and they build as many sheep houses as the pens in the sheepfold (a pen holds a smaller number of sheep than a sheephold). At each sheep house a number of openings are provided, because on the festival day each sheep owner will have to milk his own sheep. After milking the animals, the sheep owners take the milk to the caramb (a piece of wood with four facets). Only the sheepfold host can measure the milk. He takes the milk from the first man who has finished milking his sheep and pours it in a vessel. Then he measures the level of the milk with the caramb and draws a line on it. Later, in the summer, up in the mountain, the level marked on the caramb will tell the shepherd exactly how much cheese each sheep owner is entitled to receive. After all the milk was measured, the chief shepherd makes the cheese, the soft cheese, whey mixed with soft cheese and corn meal with cheese. The women lay tablecloths on the grass, take out of their sacks some brandy, stuffed cabbage and doughnuts, and the men slaughter the lambs. The forests resound with songs and gayety. 

On Easter night each family arranges in a bag some food which will be then taken to the church to be blessed by the priest. Traditionally the following are to be found in an Eastern bag: bread (knot-shaped and filled with sheep's cheese), fresh cheese, eggs painted in red, sausages, a piece of bacon, pound cake, a bottle of wine red and a large candle which will be lighted at the end of the religious service, when the priest sprinkles each bag with holy water and blesses the food in it. When they get home, the entire family sit down at table. The meal begins by breaking the red eggs; while knocking the eggs each person says, “Christ has revived!” and the others answer, “Indeed He has revived!” The villagers use the same replies as greetings for the next 40 days until the Ascension, when they are changed for “Christ has risen!” and the answer is “Indeed He has risen!” 

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