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  The custom of “Genitsaroi and Boules” of Naoussa, Greece  
     
 
 

The custom of “Genitsaroi and Boules” of Naoussa, Greece
 

The custom “Genitsaroi and Boules” is a very old custom of Naoussa town of North Greece, which takes place every year at the days of the early spring. It is difficult now for us to find its roots, as in most of our customs.  But all the elements (symbols, masks, etc) lead us to the old times to the worship of the ancient god Dionysus and the days of the ancient fest “anthestiria” which means flowerings).

 
 
     
 
 
     
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The custom of “Genitsaroi and Boules” of Naoussa, Greece is one of the most popular dance event that have been kept alive and have become world famous, particularly by the remarkable work of the Group 'FOR THE PROTECTION AND PROMOTION OF THE CUSTOM OF  NAOUSSA “GENITSAROI AND BOULES”
 
The Group is in constant cooperation with the "Greek Dance Archives" and will participate, representing as a worthy ambassador of the dance and musical tradition of Naoussa, in international festivals in Greece and abroad.



The custom of “Genitsaroi and Boules” of Naoussa, Greece
 
The custom “Genitsaroi and Boules” is a very old custom of Naoussa town of North Greece, which takes place every year at the days of the early spring. It is difficult now for us to find its roots, as in most of our customs.  But all the elements (symbols, masks, etc) lead us to the old times to the worship of the ancient god Dionysus and the days of the ancient fest “anthestiria” which means flowerings).
In our custom, the definition of the dancing custom has been very successfully placed, because the action of the people involved in the marriage is dancing action and the performance of this custom is impossible without it.
 
The main elements of the custom which moved from a very strict Oral tradition are:
 • The establishment of the group, which requires strict compliance with and acceptance of certain rules of custom event to participate therein.
 • The gender of the operands is only young men.
 • The female form (the bride – called Mpoula) impersonates always the man and represents the coming of the Nature and the resurrection from the winter to the spring.
 • The clothing, disguise and behaviour of operands are paternal governed by rules.
 • The musical instruments, dance, and the route around the limits of the old town is predetermined by the ritual, followed unchanged over the years.
        The custom has its roots in antiquity and probably related to initiation rites such as racial adulthood ceremony during of which the young boy dressed for war and guided by unmarried men of the tribe and with the help of the mask, will initiates to turn in secret, eliminates young boy’s nature and transformed into a man.
All these proceedings of  boy's transformation into an adult man between the proceeds of the custom, are coming in combination with the seasonal Nature ‘s - coming bride or “Mpoula”- resurrection from Winter to the Spring.
In the period of Ottoman occupation,  this custom symbolized the resurrection of the Greek nation  to the freedom. Today we can observe that the history of the custom improves individual  Hellenic elements like the local tradition, the myths, the legends, songs and heroic struggles of the Macedonian  town of Naoussa.