| The carnival customs throughout Greece
From Crete to Serres, from Leros to Xanthi and from Corfu to Larissa , known or unknown carnival customs revived until today , keeping alive the Greek tradition .
For most Halloween be linked to the major carnivals, parades of masked or frenetic dances. But in several counties and prefectures of the country, preserved customs and traditions that are transferred intact from generation to generation until today.
Dionysian character, ancient origin, with pagan influences, most often strongly satirical and satirical mood, the carnival traditions throughout Greece, formerly associated with the history and legends of the area and once again merely an excuse to escape from the everyday.
The preparation in many cases starts just opens the Triodion, while always culminates the last Sunday of Carnival, where each area in a big party that lasts until dawn Clean Monday.
With Dionysian origin, the custom "Janissaries and Boules" continues until our days, come to life in the town of Naoussa. On Sunday of Carnival in the characteristic sounds of the tabor and zurna, a mob with "janissaries" wandering the city streets with final destination the town hall, where culminates the celebration. In the rhythmic sound of stun the Bulls out the window and distinctive rhythmic movements of her body, to ring the hanging chest of coins, greets the mob and shortly after descending down, incorporated in the crowd and together we continue the tour until take the next Bulls. Gradually formed a "grand" procession with people of all ages to participate in the revival of the custom.
On the last Sunday of Carnival in Xanthi, Bridge River Kosinthos, revives the "burning of Tzara." It is an engineered human effigy, placed on a holly, burning and 'exorcises evil. " In this case, the evil is ... removing fleas summer. The custom brought by refugees from Eastern Thrace Samakov and every time enlivened by the inhabitants of the homonymous settlement. After the "burning of Tzara 'feast until the wee hours.
The Lamp, the symbolic "altar" of carnival festive fire lit for centuries in Kozani. Regardless of the disputes as to the origin of the particular custom, gives a festive tone to the city. By overriding the main square, where Sunday of Carnival lights up the great 'Lamp', followed by the smaller settlements that light up simultaneously their own 'lamps' ... to begin a frantic celebration purely Dionysian character. The dance circles around the altar expanded, the songs succeed each other. Most are called "xinentrapa" or "maskaralitka 'songs, with strong satirical-peiraktikes reports. Wine flows, as are the local delicacies, while the party lasts until dawn on Clean Monday.
The "Jamal" carnival bonfires light up in various districts of the city of Ioannina in the evening of the last Sunday before Lent. Custom that has existed since the 19th century in Ioannina, revives continuously since the 80s until today. The "Jamal" warm from freezing in the region and with the lighting of the first spark ... given the signal to start the big celebration.
In Serres, Monday Cheesefare we find the custom of "Monk". The festival opens with "walkers" and mimes who make up a bizarre troupe members with the King, the Prince, the halter, the monk, the bride, the bamboo and the premature baby, the gypsies with the bear and Kouroutzides ( guards). The troupe visited all the houses of the village and then the people gathered in the square, which is the preparation of the field for sowing. Here's the scene of death and resurrection with "starring" monk.
Happening associated with the fertility of the land or multiplayer with love, the "Koudounoforoi" appear so far in Soho in Thessaloniki. This ancient custom, which moved through the centuries and survived unchanged. The climax of the event, is the weekend before Shrove Monday, where participants with tragomorfes costumes and bells around their bodies, getting out and dance in the streets and squares. A special place is the custom of repentance. When delivering the biggest give absolution smaller, which with respect to visitors and kiss his hand, offering them an orange.
On Shrove Monday in Karpathos the 'People's Court of immoral acts ". It is an opportunity, clearance and administration of justice at the beginning of Lent. Defendants who "aschimonoun" or causing their gestures, others. Justice, driven by "Tzafiedes", a kind of local policemen, charged with capturing the "perpetrators". The elders of the island, undertake to judge their "disrespectful" and like this start improvised joking and teasing, as a forerunner of the feast to follow.
Bold Dionysian cult items are preserved today in the customs of Halloween on the island of Naxos. The celebrations begin on the first Saturday of Carnival, the slaughtering of pigs, called "choirosfaismata". The "Creatine" Sunday, appear on the streets of the villages of the "bell-'young people with masks wearing a riser with a hood and around the waist and chest are and wearing bells. The dance is accompanied by the characteristic sound of bells, and fail to produce their obscene expressions. Local villagers, however their filefoun for good with boiled eggs. In traveling mob, here also the "Old Man", the "Old" and "Bear." Some of the features events involving is the "wedding of the bride", the "death", the "resurrection of the dead" or the "plowing". Clean Monday in the streets getting the "foustanelatoi" young people without masks, dressed festively who play violin.
Peiraktikou character is the carnival customs on the island of Leros. The past years were the "kamouzeles" or "fawn" masquerade painted with charcoal and wrapped in "rugs" (woven rugs), where carrying the "bones" wandered the streets of villages, teasing residents. Today, this role took "poets". With lots of imagination and sarcastic mood devise facetiously verses, while small children dressed KALOGERAKI go from house to house and recite. The then known ... great feast with traditional music, many jokes, plenty of ouzo, wine and traditional food. In the climax of the festival is the burning of "elements". The same custom has also Kos and Symi.
On Sunday Cheesefare in Amorgos, in the village Langada Amorgos, revives the custom of "Captain." The young people of the island dressed in traditional costumes and accompanied by local institutions, attending church of Panagia Epanochoriani. There, according to tradition, the village priest throws into the air the "gileo" something like a robe and anyone of the attendees new catch it deserves "Captain." Within accolades climate and organ accompaniment starts the "procession" of young people to return to the village square. The custom requires new "captain" to buy her those who have gathered in cafes, but also to draw first dance, inviting young men and women to follow him. On the dance, the "Captain" stands one of the girls, which is the "Captain" of. With serenades, dance, raki and fried fish, the party lasts until the morning of Shrove Monday. Analog is the custom of "captains" on the island of Serifos.
If you want to listen to the events of the year, with satirical mood then Skyros the period of Halloween is the perfect destination. Residents (mostly fishermen) of the island, are engaged in a form of recitation verse satire, making the review of the events of the past year, with their own special look. Once opened the Triodion, the alleys of Skyros prowl groups masquerading, you may encounter an "old" with bells, "Koudounes" and "Franks. If it happens, indeed, meet two or more "Old men", compete in the famous' lilirisma "shaking rhythmically and intensity of their bells to rouse everyone.
With Venetian and ancient influences, the carnival customs on the island of Corfu, have their own distinct character. The Carnival of Corfu, is already famous, but there are also lesser-known local customs that take place during the period of Carnival. For example, the last Sunday of Carnival, shortly before completion of the cycle of events, the crier comes to town with "Ordino" at hand and proclaims the arrival of Sior Carnival. Having read aloud and will, now everything is ready for the burning of the carnival. In several villages in Corfu revives the custom of "KORFIATI marriage" but also the "dance of the priests."
Villagers Gergeri, dressed in skins and wearing bells and smeared faces and hands, taking to the streets and engage in a "arkoudistiko dance." Tied together with ropes, one following the other, running, dancing, satirize, gesture, creating sounds and cries of ecstasy and intoxication atmosphere.
In Rethymno revives even the custom of "Rapture of the bride." Groom and bride, disguised men, keep them one -moro doll with painted a mustache to look like ... the groom.
Some more events is "Plowing and Sowing", the "Funeral of Carnival" and "Camel" made of animal skull and two people running stooped in large woven fabrics, creating a grotesque quadruped, which the others vainly trying reining.