MANNERS AND CUSTOMS
The contrasts in Skyros are not touristic snapshots, they are a way of life. On this island, drenched in frankincense and myrrh of the Christian religion, Halloween comes with its Dionysian atmosphere and vibrates with other kinds of emotions. On the Sundays of the carnival, culminating in the last Sunday (Cheese Eater), the Old Men and the Corelles (rag, rag from the Latin coriellym ) pour into the streets of the island, reviving an old Scyrian custom that is seen everywhere of Greece.
Halloween in Skyros has a Dionysian atmosphere. On the Sundays of Halloween, culminating in the last (cheese-eating) Sunday, the Old Men and the Corelles (rag, rag from the Latin corriellym) pour into the streets of the island, reviving an old Scyrian custom.
The "Old Man" costume, worn by the lads, is the most impressive. Black hooded cape, face mask and belted with 30 or 40 sheep bells. With a dancing gait, together with his accompaniment, "Korella" and "Frago", they create a noisy ensemble, terrible in impression, which awes the children and awakens the shelters of the adults.
The legend says that the "Old Man" represents an old shepherd who lost, one Halloween, all his sheep due to a severe winter.
To communicate the tragic event to his villagers, he belted the bells of his dead animals and together with his ragged wife (korela) walked from alley to alley and the place echoed with the calamity. Apart from the myth, bells were well known in antiquity, because with them hung on their shields they frightened the enemies. Perhaps the custom has such a meaning, i.e. to exorcise all evil.
Source: Municipality of Skyros