Every year during February Thessaloniki hosts the European Festival of the Meeting of Bell Wearers, “Bell Roads”.
It is a terrific celebration at which the general public is presented with the customs of bell-wearers in delightful events and scientific meetings. Artistic conjectural activities, which are inspired from the custom of bell-wearing, 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-wearing groups from Greece and Europe.
The groups begin at the White Tower and arrive at Aristotelis Square by way of the Seaside Boulevard. There, for 15 minutes, they present their customs with dances and music. On that day the entire city literally trembles from the impressive rhythm of the bells while citizens of Thessaloniki and visitors alike are carried away and excited by the fantasmagorical sight of the bell-wearers, 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-wearers 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-wearers in their art and with their creative eye.