The Bey

The custom of the Bey occurs during the Carnival season mainly in the regions of the Northern Evros, such as Didymoteicho, Orestiada  and Trigono, with some minor variations. It originated from the Turkish domination, when the Bey was the absolute ruler of an entire region. He was rich and had the absolute power and he was, of course, hated by most people, especially the Greeks that were enslaved.

Therefore, the satire of this figure, mixed with elements of the Dionysian cult and fertility of the land revive nowadays with the custom of the Bey; a participant pretends to be the Bey, the rich ruler, who along with his retinue, the crier, the guards, a harem, a gypsy lady and her baby visit, one by one, the houses of the village and require the tax collection; treats for everyone! They end up on the square, where take place a humorous representation of plowing, sowing and reaping, as well as a Greco-Roman wrestling and marital act.

The custom of the Bey ends with a feast under the sounds of the traditional gaida.

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