A few days ago I posted a photo with the promise of a proper post and the time has come to honor my promise!
They call it "Ragoutsaria" (I am always wondering how to spell Greek words like this one in English) and it takes place from the 6th to the 9th of January in the town of Kastoria, in Greece. It is a revival of Dionysian Mysteries, a ritual of ancient Greece that through music, dance and alcohol was leading people to an unconstrained expression of their true selves! Although the locals say that it is a party in order to forget the troubles of the year behind them, it used to be a celebration for the rebirth of the nature that takes place every spring!
The name is probably corruption of the Latin word "rogatores" meaning beggars. The tradition is for the masqueraders to enter into the houses asking for treat in order to send away the evil spirits! The ancients times the costumes were animal hides but this changed over the centuries. Today the only limit is your imagination!
The main parameter of those three days is the music and I mean a lot of it! The town is filled with musicians that come from all over the region but from the neighbor countries too. The result is above and beyond Greece. It is a Balkan fiesta as the ones that only in this part of the world know how to make.
Oh, I forgot to tell you that I didn't make it this year so the pictures are a little bit old :)