Carnival in Greece: Naoussa

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The mirth, the pleasantries, the teases and mainly the disguises dominate during Carnival, a period totally different from any other part of the year.
The Carnival in Naoussa is also characterized by the spontaneity, the enthusiasm, the hospitable disposal of local inhabitants, the carousals without any particular preparation, the satiric carnivals. However the most particular and central element is the custom of “Boules” or “Janissaries and Boules”. It is a custom with deep roots which incorporated elements of the local tradition and heroic fights throughout its many centuries history. Although its flourishing time is located at the end of 19th and the begging of 20th century, the custom exists inalterable up to our days.








Contrary to the “disarray” that prevails during Carnival, the custom of Naoussa is characterized by discipline and standardised and exceptional aesthetic appearance of the participants. The clothing, the grouping, the adoration, the itinerary, the musical repertory, the dances, the barrel organs and the participants preserve the same rules through centuries.

The custom begins on the first Sunday of the Carnival where the groups visit the houses of their members and celebrate and continues on Monday. It is also repeated on Sunday of Carnival (Tyrinis) and Shrove Monday where the groups and the crowd celebrate with traditional delicacies and the famous wine of Naoussa in the square of Alonia. On Sunday of Ordodoxy all groups meet in the region of “Spilaio” in order to celebrate with traditional pies, special desserts made in pans and abundant wine.






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