Municipality of Serifos

Contact Details

22810 51210 - 22810 52311
Chora Serifou 84005, Serifos
info@serifos.gr

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Captaincy

Captaincy

With the term "Captaincy", we refer to a popular open-air theater, whose roots are lost in the depths of the centuries, as there are references to it, as early as the 16th centuryth In fact, formerly it was called “Lolopanigyro”, and it was always taking place on the last Saturday of the Carnival. All the people participated in the event, as well as the church. On this day, the inhabitants disguised themselves as "masters" (this was also happening to the rest of Greece) and satirized the government, under the applause of the public without any offense!

 

After the Greek Revolution of 1821 AC and the war of independence of our Nation, it took a national character and was renamed "Captaincy". The "Captaincy" was played like this until 1930. Then, the custom, which was based on ancient pagan elements, combined to Christ's morals and acquired another form. Key factor was the contribution of the Holy Monastery of the Taxiarches of Serifos, as the inhabitants, after first digging the vineyards of the Monastery, then feasting and electing their leader, who was called "Captain" and was in fact the coordinator of the ‘Captaincy’.

 

The Captaincy and the Round

There were two "Captains", one in the villages, which started from the Holy Monastery of Taxiarches to end in Chora and a second one in Chora. The "Captaincy" of the villages reached Ai Michelis, where they danced and then met the other "Captaincy" at Gadarolakki, just above the windmills and played "pseudo-war" from there to Petrias. The winner was the Captaincy which managed to get the flag of the other!

 

Then, all together, with the accompaniment of the ‘souravlotumbs’, in older times and violins, in recent times, playing the "Wedding Patina", made the "Round" of Chora. In each square they played a satirical sketch or recited and danced only with the unmasquerade married women! In the end, the "Captaincy" of the villages was taking the road back to its villages and there they were carousing to the local cafes with the instruments. Then, the unmarried girls were dancing! Similarly the "Captaincy" of Chora was partying in the cafes of both Pano and Kato Chora. After 1930, the "Captaincies" faded in the northern villages of our island, while in Chora some "Captaincies" were played between Pano and Kato Chora, until the period of the occupation. Since then, in Chora is preserved only the "Gyra".

 

The Revival of the Great Captaincy

In 1983, some young people from all over Serifos revived the first post-war "Captaincy", with a topical issue, "War - Peace". In 1984 the last big "Captaincy" took place, with the participation of all the inhabitants. Its theme, "The bloody strike of the miners of Serifos in 1916"(from which the first eight-hour work in Greece happened) was inspired by the modern history of the island! The scripts for both "Captaincies" were written by Nikos G. Livanios.

 

This "Captaincy" was filmed by Belgian television, in co-production with the Hellenic Cinema Center and the Community of Serifos. Although this initiative was met with success, as it was broadcast by many TV channels abroad, unfortunately, the "Captaincies" disappeared again. However, the custom of "Gyra" was maintained and was extended to the northern villages of the island, thanks to the roads that were built, but also to the great number of cars. Unfortunately in recent years, due to lack of spontaneity the custom was in danger of disappearing. In order to protect the custom from disappearing, an effort is made to preserve it by the Women Association of Serifos "Andromeda" with the cooperation of the Municipality of Serifos and other local bodies of the island too. The participants travel around Chora, Livadi and the rest villages having fun with ‘souravlotumbs’ and violins.