"Unique" Greek ancient traditions.
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 housewifes 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
periods 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
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.