Traveler's Guide

East Macedonia & Thrace

"Arapides " of Volaka


In Volaka the events start on the day of Epiphany with the custom of the bar. The village"a youths accompanied by traditional instruments take the newlyweds of the previous year and cross the blessed waters of the fountain. On the night of January 6, the young ones steal various items from the homes of single girls and expose them in the square. After the Worship of Saint John, parents go down in the square to identify and get back theis belongings unless they pay something symbolic. At 3:00 pm Arapides appear from village streets and end up in the square where the residents boil goats into cauldrons. The Arapides carry on their back a hump of rug full of straw, in their waist, they tie up doorbells, in their neck they bear fleece, their face and hands are blackened with smut, in their feet they wear tsarouchia of pigs, while in their hands they hold a wooden sword. They act in groups led by Tsaousi. On January 8, the day of Babo, they start with the prosecution of traditional marriage under the sounds of bagpipe and the D"Haran. At the same time the bears come out and, which are groups of masqueraders wearing whole goat skins, and having a bell in their waist the movements of which resemble the phallus. In each group there is bear man, who directs the bears with a tambourine, spreading the fun.

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