Feb 27, 2023

The Carnival in Greece is a festive celebration that dates back to ancient times. Historians believe that the ancient Greeks used to hold a festival called "Anthesteria" in honor of Dionysus, the god of wine and fertility. During this festival, people would dress up in costumes and masks, dance, and drink wine. The festival was a way to celebrate the end of winter and the beginning of spring.

Over time, the festival evolved into what we now know as the Carnival. The carnival was influenced by the Roman festival of Saturnalia, which was a time of feasting, drinking, and revelry. The carnival was also influenced by the Christian tradition of Lent, which is a period of fasting and reflection that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter Sunday.

When is the Carnival Celebrated in Greece?

The Carnival in Greece is celebrated in the weeks leading up to Lent. The exact dates vary from year to year, but it typically takes place in February or March. The carnival begins on "Tsiknopempti," also known as "Smoke Thursday," which is the last Thursday before Lent. On this day, people grill meat and enjoy a feast before the fasting period begins.

The carnival lasts for three weeks and culminates on "Clean Monday," also known as "Ash Monday," which is the first day of Lent. On this day, people fly kites, eat traditional Lenten foods, and celebrate the start of the fasting period.

Dressing up for Carnival in Greece

One of the most exciting parts of the Carnival in Greece is the dressing up in costumes and masks. People of all ages, from young children to the elderly, take part in the festivities and dress up in elaborate costumes. Some of the most popular costumes include pirates, clowns, animals, and historical figures.

Places to Celebrate Carnival

The Carnival in Greece is celebrated across the country, with each region having its own unique traditions and customs. Here are some of the best places to celebrate the Carnival in Greece:

  • Patras: The Carnival in Patras is one of the largest and most colorful in Greece. The city hosts parades, concerts, and street parties, and people from all over the country come to take part in the festivities.

  • Rethymno: The Carnival in Rethymno is known for its elaborate costumes and masks. The city hosts parades, concerts, and other cultural events during the carnival.

  • Xanthi: The Carnival in Xanthi is known for its traditional folk dances and costumes. The city hosts a series of parades and cultural events during the carnival