Upper Darby, PA – The Apokries party was celebrated at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox church by The Pontian Akritai this past Sunday evening. Decorated tables tables of glitter and masques were filled with Pontian music lovers. Alexis Parharides and Giorgos Sofianidis were the host singers straight from Greece. Local lyra player, Christos Tiktakpanidis came down from New York city to join the performance.
Sofianidis was also recognized for his first CD officially released, after more than 25 years in the industry. Sofianidis is well known for his passionate love of traditional Pontian folk music and is recognized globally for his extensive efforts to preserve it’s original sound and lyrics.
The Akritai Dance troupe from Upper Darby, performed both traditional and season dances associated with the momogeri. Momogeri is an old genuine form of Greek traditional folk theater, the most ancient ritual revived today in Greece.
The Greeks of Pontos preserved the custom of Momogeri for centuries. After the Asia Minor catastrophe of 1922 and the exchange of populations, they brought with them the ancient custom to Greece, in addition to their language, dancing, folk music, and other customs.
The name Momogeri derives from the composition of the words momos and geros. Momos was the God of Laughter and Satyr in ancient times. He was the personification of censure and condemnation. The word geros refers to the old connoisseurs of mystical ceremonies, the priests of the time.