Lampadifories

For 25 years there has been a slowly growing tradition on the Saturday night the last weekend before the start of lent. It started spontaneously when a company, the Naxos Film Club, danced in the steps of the primordial Bacchus, spirit of Dionysos. Dionysos is the god of winemaking and wine, of fertility, ritual madness, religious ecstasy, and theatre in ancient Greek religion and myth. Now the tradition has taken on a life of it’s own. For a few hours the streets of Chora are filled with uniform chanting, the soothing beat of drums, fire lights the way and light, smoke and colour fill the atmosphere. Starting at the top of the castle hoards paint their faces white and black, don white sheets, tie belts of straw around their waists and light torches. They celebrate, laugh and party until the wee hours. This year thousands poured to the streets to be part of the celebrations.

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