4 amazing and mystagogical carnival days in Naxos island.

Sofia Kioutsouki
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Naxos is considered to be the birthplace of God Dionysus, you know, the God of drama, games and mystagogy and the locals celebrate Carnival time by reviving local customs, by organizing the dramatization of ancienct myths, leading awesome torchlight procession, plannign costume parties in neighborhoods and having a parade on Sunday.

We couldn’t miss these revelries! Experiences that cannot be forgotten which also enhance the perspective you have about Carnival. All parts of Greece have something special. At Naxos, God Dionysus is honored and we are ready for rituals and other mysterious agendas prepared.

It's Friday of the Carnival in 2013 and we were lucky to see the representation of the abduction of Dionysus by the Tyrrinous pirates. Very nice myth, excellent representation, stunning costumes, the ships of the pirates were filled with vines and the pirates were transformed into dolphins. I heard that this year they are going to make the representation of the marriage of Ariadne with Dionysus, so don't miss it!

On Saturday night they had organized the established torchlight procession, which every one of us could join, as long as we had with us a white long sheet, black and white paints and a torch. Picture the scene! People with white and black colored faces, walking down from the traditional alleys of the castle to the port! Scary! After the torchlight procession we drank plenty of rakomelo and danced a lot with local instruments called tsampounes and toumpakia. After this, a masque party usually takes place, so don't miss it if you won’t go to sleep.

The next day, Sunday of the Carnival, the classic carnival with the groups, masqueraders, music, dance and drink took place in Naxos, but we decided to visit Apiranthos, where in noon some guys called ¨Koudounatoi" appear with cloaks and wander around the village making noise and indecent acts and have with them the "heater" a wood which looks like phallus. You may also see the "Old Man", the "Old Woman" and the "Bear", I don’t know if we have seen them, I guess we had our minds busy!

For Clean Monday we had valid information that we needed to move toward the villages Tripodes, Melanes or Egares, where young people are dressed ¨Kordelatoi", which means that they are wearing colored ribbons and ask girls to dance, make the best costume competition and party endlessly. Unfortunately, we were unable to go, but we hope to be able the next time!

How does it sound? 4 crazy days in Naxos? Book your tickets and go!


About the Author

Sofia Kioutsouki

My name is Sofia, i was born in Drama, raised in Thessaloniki and have been living in Kavala up to this moment. Nevertheless my heart belongs to Anatolia and the travels of the soul and the experience are those that thrill me most.

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