Traveler's Guide

East Macedonia & Thrace

Arapides of Monastiraki


In Monastiraki the initiation of the event is made on January 4-5, while the masquerade is made on the day of Epiphany (January 6). The protagonist of the whole event are the masked called Arapides who wear on their face goat"s skins, in their waist they tie up three doorbells and they are holding a wooden sword in one hand and a bag with ash in the other hand, all deterrent elements of evil. Next to them are men dressed as women, named Gilligans, carrying messages and wishes, strength and joy in the homes and then all together, under the sounds of local musical instruments, the Macedonian lyre and the Daireh compose the "large dance" at 3 pm, in the village square, on the day of Epiphany. In this dance participate traditional soldiers and others disguised, giving strength to the community, in a single indivisible circle. Also, there are many elements that work for a good year (= good year with fertility and fruitfulness), such as the kidnapping of the bride, where the female body accepts the divine power of the libido of a satyr, which are made for sightly reasons, outside the circle. Also virtual plowing and virtual seed are performed for "good crop."

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