Deve / Tziamala / Tzamala  
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An ancient custom, a popular carnival event that is followed with variations throughout Southeastern Europe. In different regions of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace the custom is revived nowadays by different names depending on the region and on the religion. The Muslims call it "deve" (camel).

Nowadays, the custom of the camel is followed every year on Clean Monday (first day of Lent), in the central square of Stavroupolis. The camel was initially pagan, symbolizing the plea of the locals for fertility of the land, since it coincided with the coming of spring and the beginning of agricultural works. Later, in combination with the Orthodox faith and religion that sets this day as the beginning of Lent, it came to symbolize the end of carnival at the beginning of fasting.


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