photos: Angelos Christofilopoulos
Babougera, Bells, the Camel are all folklore performances, of intense Dionysian character, which take place during the weekend of Epiphany in the wider region of Drama in eastern Macedonia, Greece, and aim to exorcise evil spirits of nature and start a year of good luck. The men of the area wear sheepskins, paint their faces black, hang large bells on their belts and, by wandering in the streets, scare passers-by through the noise they create and their zoomorphic form. The presence of the camel symbolizes endurance and strength towards hardships. All eventually end up in the village's square where a traditional feast begins with music, food and plenty of "tsipouro" (alcoholic drink made by grapes).