Carnival in Greece is one more reason to celebrate! It lasts thee whole weeks and is the time when everyone is entitled to frenzied moments. Lack of censorship or hesitations is welcomed, of course. The tradition of the Carnival dates back to antiquity. The ancient Greeks used to dress up wearing creative costumes. Then they gathered in companies and danced, drinking till early in the morning. As you can imagine, the Carnival is celebrated in its full glory in every part of the country with special events.
Traditions and Customs of the Carnival in Greece
The period before the Great Lent is called Triodion. The Christians prepare themselves for the biggest fasting period before Easter. And it is when the Carnival festivities take place. Every part of Greece celebrates. Traditions and customs from a long time ago are revived. And there is great fun. After all, masquerading comes with overcoming any boundaries.
Patras Carnival definitely holds the scepters. It is the most popular festival during this period. People from all over the country and travelers from abroad visit Patras. Most of them take part in the Grand Parade. This year’s huge parade will be held on February 18th. Just one day before Clean Monday and the beginning of the Great Lent. In Patras, groups of people dress up in harmony with each other. There are many constructions of humorous character floating the parade. And when the Carnival is about to end, the King of the Carnival is burnt at the stake.
You will also be able to participate in the Carnival festivities in Crete (with Rethymnon holding a glorious parade) and Xanthi. Then, there is a special custom in Thiva. A traditional wedding is revived each year (called Vlahikos Gamos). People wear costumes and there are wonderful dancing rituals in the streets. In Athens, every municipality organizes festivities during the last weekend before the Great Lent.
Of course, there is direct correlation between these customs and God Dionysus. Abundant wine and music, masks. A fully hedonistic approach of life. What more could you ask for?