Festival Organizers & Information
- FolkNet & FolkWay Organization Center
- 4th European Festival of Bell-bearing Traditions – Thessaloniki 2017
- 10th – 13th February 2017
The 4th European Festival of Bell-bearing traditions will take place from the 10th to the 13th of February 2017 in Thessaloniki, Greece. Every year during February Thessaloniki hosts the European Festival of the Meeting of Bell-bearers also named Bell Roads. During this terrific celebration the bell-bearing customs of Greece, the Balkans and other European countries are presented to the wide public in delightful events and scientific meetings. Artistic conjectural activities, which are inspired from the custom of bell-bearing, such as film screening, photographic exhibitions, workshops, scientific meetings, shadow theater, and concerts, are but a few of the activities of the Festival. The manifestations culminate on the last day of the event with an impressive parade of bell-bearing groups.
The groups begin at the White Tower, the most well-known monument of Thessaloniki, and arrive at Aristotle Square through the Seaside Boulevard. There, for 15 minutes, every group presents its customs with dances and music. On that day the entire city literally trembles from the impressive rhythm of the bells while citizens and visitors alike are carried away and excited by the phantasmagorical sight of the bell-bearers, the variety of masquerades, the loud intensity of bells clanging simultaneously, but basically from the passion, the intensity, and the momentum of hundreds of bell-bearers which inundate Thessaloniki. All the activities of the Festival have as an axis to link the tradition of bell-wearing in Greece with similar ones in Europe, and also to constitute a source of inspiration to the current artists to approach the custom of the bell-bearers in their art and with their creative eye.
Thessaloniki is the second-largest city in Greece and one of the major economic, industrial, commercial and cultural centres of southeastern Europe. The city is renowned for its festivals and vibrant cultural events such as the International Trade Fair and the International Film Festival. An important metropolis by the Roman period, Thessaloniki was the second largest and wealthiest city of the Byzantine Empire. It was conquered by the Ottomans in 1430, and passed from the Ottoman Empire to modern Greece on 8 November 1912.
Thessaloniki is home to numerous notable Byzantine monuments, including the Paleochristian and Byzantine monuments of Thessaloniki, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as several Roman, Ottoman and Sephardic Jewish structures. The city’s main university, Aristotle University, is the largest in Greece and the Balkans.Thessaloniki is a popular tourist destination in Greece. In 2013, it was included among the top tourist destinations worldwide by the National Geographic Magazine, while in 2014 Financial Times FDI magazine declared Thessaloniki as the best mid-sized European city of the future for human capital and lifestyle.
Participation Terms & Conditions
- Participating groups must present a bell-bearing performance in their traditional costumes, for 10 to 15 minutes.
- There is no limit in the number of participants per group.
- There in no age limit for the participants.
- Groups have to be in Thessaloniki the latest on the 11th of February, at 12:00 noon, to give a short performance in a central town square.
- The main parade will take place on the 12th of February from 11:00 am to 16:00 pm.
- In any case, the organizers will inform you about the meeting place and time.