The Goat Festival

A celebration in tune with the Dionysian traditions

The Skyros Goat Festival has its roots in the Dionysian celebrations of ancient Greece. An extraordinary event, it leaves the privileged few non-Skyrians who have the chance to be part of it spellbound and enchanted by its mystery and potency.

The celebration culminates in a heady mix of non-stop partying by day and night - a 48 hour explosion of revelry and a carnival parade. Young men wrap themselves in goatskins and 50 kilos of goat bells and whirl frenetically round in order to release Persephone and bring on the Spring. Half human, half animal, they dance in the streets in an ancient, wild and primitive pagan abandon. Their street party is joined by the entire community in a frenzy of dance and good-humoured make merry.

Unlike almost every single such event, the Festival is completely free of  commercialism – the locals join it because they love it and not because of any material benefits it might bring to their community. It is also totally free of any central planning. Spontaneous events are the order of the day.

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