Greek Carnival traditions
Please wait ...
English
English
French
Japanese
Korean
Chinese (Simplified)
Chinese (Traditional)
Portuguese
Brazilian
Russian
Italian
Tuskish
Spanish
German
Greek

See what is available in the place you're visiting

Greek Carnival traditions

Corfu ● Galaxidi ● Ioannina ● Karpathos ● Kozani ● Methoni Messinia ● Naousa ● Skyros ● Thessaloniki ● Xanthi ● Zakynthos ● 16 March 2017
 

A traditional offshoot of the ancient Dionysian festivals, Carnival in Greece has customs, whose roots go back in the antiquity.


Carnival is not only a festival before Easter, but it also marks the coming of spring and the blossoming of new life. Many places in Greece have their own ways to celebrate the Carnival. In Xanthi Thrace, on the last Sunday of the Carnival, before Clean Monday, the locals gather to watch the burning of an effigy, and it is believed that thus, they banish the evil spirits.


On the island of Corfu, on the same day, after a parade, which reminds of the Venetian Carnival, another effigy, the King of the Carnival is burnt, while in Zakynthos, an Ionian island which is also influenced by the Venetian Carnival, the locals re-enact customs of the 16th century, such as a traditional Venetian wedding with impressive costumes.


In Thessaloniki, men are decked out in black and red costumes with colourful headgear and heavy bells, and they spill out noisily in the streets, while in Skyros, in the island complex of Sporades, the islanders are dressed up as old men with black capes, masks, shepherd's sandals and goat bells, just like the troupe of God Dionysus in ancient Greece.


In Kozani and Ioannina, the neighbourhoods are illuminated by large flames, in a custom that has to do with the ancient belief of the purifying power of fire. In Methoni Messinia, in southern Peloponnese, on Clean Monday, takes place a satirical marriage between two men in costumes, known as Koutroulis' Wedding, which is followed by dancing until the dawn.

In Karpathos, in the south-eastern Aegean, also on Clean Monday, the locals stage the Peoples' Court of Immoral Acts, as a way to clean and prepare the state for Lent. In Galaxidi, near Delphi, at the start of Lent, there is a battle with flour, a custom that has its roots in Byzantine Times.


In Naousa Imathias, in Central Macedonia (Greece), Carnival is known as Boules, after the word bouloukia (=bunches), which is used to describe the group of people dancing around the streets of the city.


Where to Stay

Hotel in Thassos, Greece Blue Bay Hotel
Blue Bay Hotel
Skala Potamias, 64004 Thassos, Greece

Blue Bay Hotel is located in a quiet area in Skala Potamias. It is just a 9-minute walk from the beach. Limenas, the main town of Thassos is a 20-minute drive away.

Hotel in Patmos, Greece Asteri Hotel
Asteri Hotel
Skala, 85500 Patmos, Greece

Asteri Hotel is located just 50 m from Merikas Beach and 1 km from the center of Skala village and the main port of Patmos island. Patmos Town with the Monastery of St. John the Theologian is at 4.7 km. Patmos island can be reached with a ferry boat from Piraeus (Athens), Lipsi and Leros islands.

Hotel & Appartment in Athens, Greece Athens Way
9.1 10
Athens Way
17, Arachovis & Ippokratous Str., 10680 Athens, Greece

Located in Athens City Centre, this hotel is within a 15 - minute walk from Syntagma square. The Acropolis is at 2 km away.


X