Carnival at Nedousa takes place each year on Kathari Deftera. It's an authentic agricultural act of goodyear, similar to the ones taking place each year during the same period at Northern Greece.At Nedousa we meet it at its completest form and hundreds of fans of our traditional culture gather during the last years, after it was widely known, at the small village square to take part at the primitive holy acts.
The folklore proffessor Mixalis Meraklis first acknowledged its importance, noting that "undoubtably a great tradition is continued", and also interpreted its main parts at the 1999 ET1 show "Mousiko Odiporiko", where scenes from the 1998 carnival were broadcasted.
The agricultural carinival of Nedousa is a kind of "popular theater" and consists of a series of acts, which are "acted" by a group of masked people, and has as a primary goal the assuarance of "goodyear" and prosperity. It is not organized by the "nobles" to be offered to the "people"; it is "extemparized" by the "actors" and is offered to the cradle, the village and its people. Because as they believe "if the carnival doesn't take place a year, that will be bad for the village".
Characteristics of the act that make it unique in Greece, are the following:
The group staining from furnace smoke as anti-evileye. "Agermos", the visit of the "actors" at all the village houses to exchange wishes and sweets which are going to be eaten at a group meal. The goat dance, where goat-faced people take on fake fights, while their hanging bells sound unstoppably. "Arotriosi", the holiest moment of the day when the ancient plough will plow the village square three times, while the "actors" will be sowing seeds and burying them. The marriage, with a normal ceremony, causing abundant laughs with its spectacular end where "groom and bride" make love on the "three times plowed ground". Ancient poet Isiodos has a similar description 2,700 years before:
Dimitra the goddess gave bearth to Pluto
with hero Iasio making love
on three times plowed ground
Then follows the funeral, mourning and the ressurection. A young man who is killed "so as not to die of elderly weakness", is buried and mourned with "dirges", is recalled back to life and "ressurected to vigorously act once again", with obvioius symbolisms the ressurection of nature, spring-life, after winter-death.
It's characteristics are: the visitors that are not considered spectators but also celebrate and take part during all the acts, the traditional disguises and the intense presence of the ancient musical instruments of daouli and flogera.
Visitors at Nedousa will eat fasting foods for free offered by the cultural society, will taste the unique "koutsavitiko" wine, will feel ecstatic taking part with the "actors" at ancient ceremonies and will be impressed by the village and its surrounding nature.
Communities like Nedousa that preserve their cultural heritage will never be lost, since there is the link between past-present-future and in this case it is a series of acts whose origins are lost in time, and which is nowadays simply called "Carnival at Nedousa".