The Carnival of Skyros
A lot of festivities have proven the authenticity of the locals regarding their folkloric tradition. On the top of them is the Carnival of Skyros, with its Dionysian atmosphere. The origins of this event are lost in the centuries having their roots in the human concerns and researches over life the death.
The leading figures of the Carnival is the old Man (Geros), the Korela (Korela) and the Frank (o Fragos ), the role of the third is to be sarcastic towards the first “Frankish” clothes (pants-jacket).
The figure of “Geros” especially, is a unique approach throughout the Greek tradition.
The carnival doesn’t follow a specific programme and that is because of the participation in it along with the enthusiasm of Skyrian people. It takes place on the last Sunday of the whole duration of the Carnival, where "Geros”, "Korela"( from Latin “Correlium”) and “Fragkos” , get out in the main city of the island and in a frenzy rhythm, they revive an old Skyrian custom that a lot of people come to enjoy from all around Greece and abroad, as well.
The costume of "geros", that the men of the island wear, is impressive. It includes black cape with hood, mask on the face and a belt of 30 or 40 sheep bells. “Geros” together with "Korela" and "Frank", make a noisy atmosphere that impresses children and adults.
Legend says that “Geros” represents an old shepherd, who lost all of his sheeps, during the Carnival, due to the heavy winter. To make the tragic event known to the locals he wore the bells of the dead sheeps and with his wife (Korela) walked through the narrow roads.
Beyond the myth, the bells were well known in ancient times, because the warriors used to hang their shields on them, so as to scare the enemies.
Perhaps this custom has this kind of concept, to exorcise the evil.