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Aga – Customs of Chios Island

Every year on Ash Monday, a humoristic custom is taking place at Mastihohoria, the villages at the south part of the Island of Chios which are producing Mastiha. The custom of Aga!


Chians every year this day are celebrating a custom with its roots back to the Ottomans occupancy.Those times, Aga (the Turkish ruler of the village) was a strict and unfair judge who did not miss a chance to collect fines from the villagers at parody trials. Chians could not tolerate such behavior so they started to satirize those trials giving birth to the most hilarious custom you will ever experience.

Today, the cultural association of each village is responsible for keeping the custom alive. At Olympoi village the cultural association treats visitors and fans in a effort to keep the custom for years to come. Same is happening to other villages that maintaining the custom such as Mesta, Lithi, Elata and so.

Starting early the morning the preparations for the entrance of the Aga at the central square of the village where a big feast is taking place with live music, treatments from the association while the local restaurants are trying their best to satisfy locals and visitors, fans of the custom. Aga is entering the village escorted by the prosecutor and is sitting next to a lady attending the trial and giving the fines. Everyone around is on the line for a trial where with humor and lots of fan they will accept the punishment of Aga paying a small amount of money as fine in order to support the local association.

If you will be at Olympoi village that time find a table at Pyrgos Restaurant (+30 22710 76459 – Facebook) and try octopus and fava along with local wine. Enjoy the custom and indulge your senses with local recipes and care.

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