The trip to Naxos island was less than 5 hours long by boat, departing from Pireas port very early in the morning. Upon arrival, I was introduced to the beautiful "Portara" a massive marble doorway, that stands proudly at the entrance of the beautiful port. It is the gateway to an unfinished temple that faces directly toward Delos island, Apollo's birthplace. For this reason, most scholars believe it was dedicated to Apollo, but some think it was built in honour of Dionysus, who was worshipped on Naxos Island.
The first day on a trip like this is always the easiest. It is the scouting day, walking around, getting to know the people, visiting the local stores, acting like a tourist. So after checking in to my small Airbnb apartment, I set my way to the Naxos "chora" for a cup coffee, local food and getting some shots of the beautiful "Portara" with my drone.
Even though Naxos is the biggest island in the Cyclades, it is relatively quiet during the winter compared to the very busy summer period. I knew this would change soon as the carnival weekend attracts many tourists and Greeks who return back to the island to take part or enjoy the festivities.
Wednesday, Thursday - Kordelati and Foustanelati
My first photographic destinations were the villages of Kinidaros, Eggares and Galini where the custom of Kordelati and Foustanelati takes place on Wednesday and Thursday before the carnival.
At Kinidaros they were expecting the carnivalists to arrive at a restaurant called "Nyhterida" which means The bat in Greek so I and my company decided to find a table there and prepare for the photo-shoot. According to the custom, the men from one village get dressed in the traditional costume of Kordelatoi and visit the other villages, where women have prepared a feast with plenty of food and music. Upon their arrival they make loud noises to alert the locals, shoot bullets in the air with shotguns and invite the women to dance.
Moving to Eggares the party had already begun inside a local restaurant. The women of the village invited us to join them at their table for some wine and food.
The Kordelatoi were dancing without rest. From time to time a few of them would come out of the building and shoot a round of bullets in the air with their shotguns.
Two Foustanelatoi danced in the middle a beautiful green field just opposite the restaurant with a large white church with blue domes in the background.
Upon their arrival they make loud noises to alert the locals, shoot bullets in the air with shotguns and invite the women to dance.
The Naxos carnival week continues here with the events of Methidotia and Lampadiforia