Aris is a village of Messinian valley and is situated 13 km to the north of Kalamata. The entire area had been inhabited before the Frankish period, due to the swampy ground. At the end of Ottoman rule in the first years after the Revolution of 1821 the village was called Aris Aslanaga, apparently from the leader Aga named Aslan. Subsequently, it was proposed to be renamed to “Makaria” as the Lower Messinian valley was known as “Makaria Gi” during the antiquity.

Finally it took the name Mesopotamia, a name apparently inspired by the fact that the village was built between two rivers, Aris and Pamissos. Later, the village name was changed again to Aris by the adjacent river.

The chieftain Anastasios Tzamalis (or Tsamali), known for his actions during the Revolution of 1821 came from Aris. Tzamalis was one of the leaders of the Messinian Revolution of 1834 and in his honor a small monument was erected outside the village.

Aris celebrates on August 15, the day of the Assumption. The traditional “war with darts” and the Burning of Judas take place annually on Monday after Easter in Aris, attracting visitors from all over Greece.

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