Trata

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The Trata is a traditional commemorative dance performed every two years in Megara in Attica, Greece.

On the Tuesday following Easter in every alternate year, the women of Megara take part the traditional dance known as the Trata on the open space before the tiny church known as Saint John the Dancer. It is popularly believed to commemorate the building of this chapel during a single day during the years of Ottoman rule over Greece.

To prevent the Ottomans from profiting from a spring on the site, which had the effect of making the women who drank from it very fertile, local people decided to secure it inside a church building, but they needed the permission of the Ottoman authorities to do so.

By a clever stratagem they were able to convince the pasha in Corinth to allow them to build a small chapel, but only if the work could be completed within a single day. They told him that an evil djinn inhabited the spring. The pasha of Corinth did not want the inhabitants of his area troubled by evil spirits, and he thought that building a chapel over it would be sufficient to ensure that it would remain trapped inside. But he feared that if the other Muslims of the area heard that the Christians were building a new chapel they would be outraged, and this would itself cause him a lot of trouble. So he warned the Christians that if they took longer than a single day to build it, they would lose their heads. In this way, he would ensure that the building would be finished before anyone...
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