Preparation for the Oil Wrestling Matches

At that time, The Kirkpinar Oil Wrestling tournament was starting three days before Celebration day of spring. Significant wrestling matches were not held in the first day of the tournament. Only wrestling practices for the coming actual matches were held. Actual oil wrestling matches were starting two days before Celebration day of spring and being completed on the evening of the day before Celebration day of spring. Baspehlivan (Head Wrestler) and Basalti (the wrestling category just under Head Wrestler category) oil wrestling matches were usually held in the last day of the tournament.

 

Ten or fifteen days before the Celebration day of spring, villagers of Samona village were starting to construct makeshift spectator stands for the spectators, makeshift shops and barracks for the vendors. In the same way, twenty or twenty-five day before the Celebration day of Spring, Agha of the Kirkpinar (The main sponsor person providing financial and organizational support) were sending candles with red bottoms to every place within his reach in order to invite people to the tournament as a form of announcement. These candles sent by the Agha of Kirkpinar were being hanged to the ceiling of the coffee houses in cities, towns and villages. These candles were symbolizing the invitation to the Kirkpinar oil wrestling tournament. There is a common saying among the people of Edirne. If a person goes to a place without being invited and then becomes disappointed, then people ask him, “Why did you go there, did they invite you with a candle having a red bottom?". This appears to be an old tradition.

 

From five to ten days before Celebration day of spring, vendors and artisans from Edirne, Ortakoy and Kusuvak came to Kirkpinar and settle in the makeshift barracks and wending places prepared for them. They arrange their vending stands according to the type of their goods such as food, drinks, etc...

Agha of Kirkpinar arranges the tents for himself, Pehlivans (wrestlers) and visitors to be pitched around the wrestling field one week before Celebration day of spring. Two days before the start of the tournament, big kitchen pots to cook food, kitchen utensils and chefs are brought near the wrestling field, and chefs began preparations for the visitors.

Up to one week before the celebration day of the spring, pehlivans' arrival for the tournament was completed. These pehlivans (wrestlers) became guests for Village Aghas (The most influential persons in the villages) in the surrounding villages of Kirkpinar such as Samona, Korumit, Seymen, Delcariz villages. At these times, most of the pehlivans and head pehlivans became guests of two brother pehlivans named Ali and Sait living in the village of Korumit. These two pehlivan brothers belong to a family with a long history of producing pehlivans.

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