Since my 12th year i believed that Carnival time is on New Years Eve and the reason is my birthplace. I was born and raised at Argos Orestiko near Kastoria where the 1st day of the year is celebrated with all the villagers engaging in an endless carnival party all over town.
While all the people in Greece are dressed in the best Sunday clothes to celebrate the new year, Argos villagers are dressed like carnivals and welcome the new year in the streets of our little town. I spent so many new years eve at the streets and bars of Argos Orestiko, dressed like a hippy or gipsy or shower or lamb. Such a weird custom which makes this small macedonian town so unique and special.
Three days befor new years eve and the same day people of Argos Orestiko celebrate dressed up. This is a custom said to have emerged during the years of Otoman conquer when people used all these customs to celebrate Christianity. Older people say about those years when the Turks didn't let locals go out during the night or gather during the year but where more tolerant during Christmas and New Years eve. This is how this custom emerged and people took the chance to meet each other, drink, dance and have fun under the sounds of local wind instruments. Same happens at Kastoria called "Ragkoutsaria" taking place on the 6th and 7th of January each year.
Argos Carnival starts on the 31st of December with the custom of "Bouloukia" where people dressed up dance on the streets and local artists play traditional music till dawn. Next day around 12pm the parade takes place where all the people participate. Music is still on and something like stand up comedy takes place (social and political comedy).
On the 2nd of January another parade takes place called "Pateritsa" and it is a ladys day. Only women take place dressed up, dancing and drinking local wine.
This is a truly unique way to welcome a new year, to makes something special, to celebrate on the streets with raki and wine, to get dressed and dance with great music. Don't hesitate to visit us people on the 31st, 1st and 2nd of January each year!
Photos by Oladeka
Agni was born and raised in Argos Orestiko near Kastoria, a village with a great heritage especially when it comes to Carnival and other Dionysos fiestas. She is sharing with you all those beautiful moments and experiences coming from her birthplace and places she loves. Just follow her!