Greece: Goats, sex and wine Gods — Babougera festival kicks off in Kali Vrisi

A three day festival known as 'Babougera' kicked off in the town of Kali Vrisi in northern Greece on Monday. The celebration honoured the god of sexuality 'Dionysus', fertility and wine. Locals dressed up as goats in a symbol of perseverance and paraded through the town streets carrying bells, dancing and chanting traditional songs in order to 'wake up nature'. «You have to experience it to... Еще feel it» said one perfomer dressed up as Dionysus, Dimitrios Ziogas. Some performers were dressed as Dionysus’ followers called ‘babougera’, as others donned the outfits of the Greek god of wine and fertility himself. The actors then put on a satirical representation of a marriage, with Dionysus heading the ceremony. One of the acts included a man dressed as an old woman or ‘Babo’ who ran around hitting people with a bag of ashes to keep the 'evil spirits' away. The ashes were collected from the villager’s fireplaces on Christmas day. The costumes were made more than 100 years ago by the ancestors of the residents and have been maintained with great respect ever since.

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