Babugeri during Epiphany

Pagan custom in the village of Kali Vryssi
Photography / Text: George Tatakis

In the village of Kali Vrissi, the custom of “Babugeri” is revived. These guys are disguised in zoomorphic face and bear five major pastoral bells around their waistline. Babugeri dance around the village, teasing people around, by hitting them with a small sack full of ashes.

Babugeri during Epiphany - Greece. Eastern Macedonia and Thrace. Kali Vryssi. © George Tatakis
Babugeri during Epiphany
Greece. Eastern Macedonia and Thrace. Kali Vryssi. © George Tatakis

The village of Kali Vryssi is quite near Drama, the town I had as a base and the largest nearby town at the same time. I had a terrible fever and over 39 Celsius body temperature, which would make the whole thing a bit more difficult. More specifically, my greatest difficulty was not being able to drink wine from the "Kali Vryssi" tap. Kali Vryssi (Good Spring) had been connected to a barrel of really nice wine produced by a nearby famous winery. The result was a tap that was actually pouring wine! All you had to do is take your glass and fill it up. That is for free of course. 

The local fountain was actually pouring wine!

Babugeri during Epiphany - Greece. Eastern Macedonia and Thrace. Kali Vryssi. © George Tatakis
Babugeri during Epiphany
Greece. Eastern Macedonia and Thrace. Kali Vryssi. © George Tatakis

The place was really crowded. This is the final event that takes around Drama and marks the end of all Christmas - Epiphany festivities. There are local channels, journalists and many many photographers. I could not be too meticulous this time because of feeling to terrible to even move away from my chair, but nevertheless did my best to make a few images. 

Babugeri during Epiphany - Greece. Eastern Macedonia and Thrace. Kali Vryssi. © George Tatakis
Babugeri during Epiphany
Greece. Eastern Macedonia and Thrace. Kali Vryssi. © George Tatakis
Babugeri during Epiphany - Greece. Eastern Macedonia and Thrace. Kali Vryssi. © George Tatakis
Babugeri during Epiphany
Greece. Eastern Macedonia and Thrace. Kali Vryssi. © George Tatakis

A fake wedding takes place at that day as well, but the Babugeroi were much more interesting to me. There are different roles and you can also see people dressed up and dancing with traditional costumes. 

Babugeri during Epiphany - Greece. Eastern Macedonia and Thrace. Kali Vryssi. © George Tatakis
Babugeri during Epiphany
Greece. Eastern Macedonia and Thrace. Kali Vryssi. © George Tatakis
Babugeri during Epiphany - Greece. Eastern Macedonia and Thrace. Kali Vryssi. © George Tatakis
Babugeri during Epiphany
Greece. Eastern Macedonia and Thrace. Kali Vryssi. © George Tatakis

There is even a guy that carries two other guys dressed as bears chained. 

Babugeri during Epiphany - Greece. Eastern Macedonia and Thrace. Kali Vryssi. © George Tatakis
Babugeri during Epiphany
Greece. Eastern Macedonia and Thrace. Kali Vryssi. © George Tatakis

The chief of the party is of course Dionysos, the ancient God of wine and fun, who walks around with a pot full of wine and dances along to the rhythm!

The chief of the party is of course Dionysos

Babugeri during Epiphany - Greece. Eastern Macedonia and Thrace. Kali Vryssi. © George Tatakis
Babugeri during Epiphany
Greece. Eastern Macedonia and Thrace. Kali Vryssi. © George Tatakis
#kali vrysi #babugeroi #bell bearers #masks #christmas #babuger #ancient #carnival #pagan #dionysian #epiphany

Location

Babugeri during Epiphany

Unnamed Road, Kali Vrisi 662 00, Greece
Kali Vryssi, Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, Greece