"Unique" Greek ancient traditions.

The day men & women change roles.

On January 8 every year the custom of gynecocratia = female dominion or matriarchy revives in the villages of Monoklissia and N. Petra in the region of Seres, Northern Greece. On this date the women hang out in the "kafeneia" while the men stay home with the children and the chores. Only at nightfall they are allowed to join the women and celebrate with them. This custom also takes place in the villages of Strimi and Xilagani in the Komotini region and at Nea Kassani near Xanthi as well as in the village of Aspro near Kilkis. In the festivities later in evening, only the married couples of the community can take part.

The custom of "Gynekokratia" is very well known all over Greece, and a large number of visitors, Greek and foreign reporters visit the towns every year to watch the new «Amazons» controling the village for one day. The married women elect a woman as chairperson as well as the rest of the members of the Board, consisting also of women. Women occupy all the positions on that day. You encounter a role of reversal in society; a traffic policewoman, a post woman etc. The men are occupied with housework; they wash the clothes, do the ironing, look after the children and in general they wear the housewife’s apron and kept busy at home, which is left in a complete mess by the wives.

So, while the husbands are busy with the housework the wives are holding a «session» at the coffee shops. They smoke, play cards and enjoy themselves until the early hours. No men are allowed to take part in the festivities. If one of them dares to appear the least that is going to happen to him is to get drenched with water.

This is a Thracian custom brought here by the Thracian refugees. Another name for this custom is the festivity of «Babo» or «vrexoudio» because on the men who dare to go out of the house get completely wet. This custom is a distant recall of the primitive period’s matriarchal spirit, which was obvious in the religion of people from Asia Minor from the Prehistoric period. Most probably it influenced the northern areas (Thrace) and was slightly preserved in life. Lately, the custom adopted a particular festive style and became a real tourist attraction with its «Dionysus style» celebrations, in which women play the main roles.

Our tour, organised from 5 - 35 persons can be organised as a 2 days tour, or a 3 days tour combining the "epiphania" traditions of Northern Greece.