From Mykonos and the Cyclades to Crete and from Patras and the Peloponnese as Thrace!!
Halloween is a festival with a long history. Having its roots in ancient Greece and the worship of Dionysus, spread and today is a real mosaic of history and folklore of the past. The customs and traditions in every corner of Greece testify…….
Carnival (Apokria) means abstaining from meat. also, in one version, the word "Carnival" is made from the words carne = meat and vale = take leave.
The concept of the carnival was first found in ancient Greece, the processions that took place during the Eleusinian Mysteries, which together with the Dionysian are the ancestors of today's carnival.
Days of rituals attendees in disguised satyrs or covering their faces, remain unknown to their identity and were engaged in dance and drink with provocative acts and intense obscenity.
The Romans then eftelisan the essence of these ceremonies and to spread their empire countries.
Today Halloween called "Triodion". The name comes from the "three odes" Gospel of Orthodoxy.
The "Triodion" begins Sunday the "Publican and Pharisee", continues Sunday with the "Prodigal Son", Sunday of "Carnival" and ends Sunday the "Tyrinis" or "Carnival".
The next is the first day of Lent and fasting starts, which lasts 40 days. Christians called this day "Clean Monday", because the start of fasting thought that was started by the "cleansing" of the body and spirit.
The most brilliant period of Athenian Carnival coincides with the belle epoque era in Trikoupis. This is when there is urban western-style carnival, streamers, Pantaloon, standard disguises, dances, processions with floats, Komitata and other costly performances.
Even in the Turkish occupied Ioannina and Konitsa was the famous parade of floats with symbolic and satirical performances.
In recent years there are efforts to revive traditional carnival customs in many parts of Greece. A real mosaic of history and folklore of the past alive again. The myths and legends of our country, these days, They come to the fore through dance, the feast and song come true.
Carnival in Central Greece
The last weekend of Carnival in Amfissa revives the legend of "elements". From the district Harmena, where are the old Tampakika, and the steps of Saint Nicholas comes down the "ghost" and follow with hundreds of disguised.
The legends about the "gnomes" were widespread in the region. It is said that souls are killed humans or animals that roam the area.
The most important element is connected with tradition is the ghost of "Harmena". This loved and protected the snuff (tanners), why the work forced them to lie on the fountain at night – day.
Many swore that they saw the ghost wandering in the night’ entire district, result in the source of water and is lost. Even the most telling how old the ghost of Harmena came every Saturday night, down from the "pumpkin Rema" and turning the streets bellowing and dragging chains.
When it opens the Triodion, almost all the inhabitants of Galaxidi circulating disguised in carnival costumes on the streets and in stores.
One of the established customs of the city, the custom of carnival, is that of "alefropolemou".
This custom is maintained by 1801. Those years, although Galaxidi was under the Turkish occupation, All residents were waiting for Ash to have fun and dance in circles. A cycle for women, one for men. They wore masks or simply painted their faces with charcoal. Then added flour, indigo, polish shoes and ocher.
A representation of Vlach Wedding, every Shrove Monday. It is a custom that reaches our days around the 1830, after the release of Highland. the Vlachs, ie. shepherds from Macedonia, Epirus, Thessaly and Rumeli, then they deserted their barren land and found fertile soil south.
The show is super, colorful wedding procession, The music that accompanies (flute, drums etc.) very lively.
the celebrations, beginning on Pancake Day and culminate on the last weekend th Carnival.
The Maypole is a tradition for the town of Livadia and is celebrated on the last Sunday of Carnival. The townspeople prepare the maypole, making tanks.
On Carnival Sunday, maskers marching towards the central square where the maypole braided, and presented carnival skits, songs and pantomimes by masqueraders. Then feast with folk songs and dances.
Carnival in Dodecanese
Clean Monday operates the People's Court dill Actions. Some make bad gestures to others and captured by Tzafiedes (gendarmes) to lead the Court, who are the respect of the island. After the impromptu jokes and laughs, followed by feast.
On Carnival Sunday in the area around Kefalos and Antimachia revives the custom with “kamouzeles”, which lasts for half a century in the island of Kos. The "kamouzeles" or fawn, in the old days, masqueraders was painted with charcoal, covered with "rugs" (colorful woven blankets) and brandishing the "bones" we were returning to the village streets teasing and amusing residents.
The custom includes rich traditional music, humorous, plenty of ouzo, wine and traditional snacks, while late at night is burning elements.
Carnival is celebrated with "kamouzeles", masquerades, and Improvised poets facetiously get up to recite verses which children dressed KALOGERAKI going from house to house. The same tradition also have to Symi.
Carnival in Chios
Thymiana Chios revives the custom of "Mostra", lasting two days from Friday Shrovetide evening until Sunday morning.
According to locals from there came the expression "Friday the upload and Sunday to bring down".
The origins of the custom are in the Middle Ages, with young, the Friday evening, wearing old clothes, female or male, cover their faces with masks homemade (moutsounaries)and make various skits spreading laughter in the streets of the island.
On Sunday they go all the churches of St. John and St. Demetrius and worship and then directed to the village cemetery with organ accompaniment.
Final destination is the village square, where Talimi dancing, that is dance depicting the battles of Chians with pirates.
The custom culminates in the church of Agios Efstratios, where they hang the railings of the church Chian banners and flags.
Carnival in Cyclades
Mykonos traditionally have the "Balos" ie large celebrations and feasts every weekend with lots of fun. In the last week enjoying themselves every night with the culmination of the festivities take place on the last Sunday of Carnival.
The dances were held in large halls storey shops or houses, the "casinos" that gave the owners, after the emptied if they were in residential house. In the "casinos" there were bodies of two musicians together. Operated on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Within this drink was served mint and suma, chickpeas, raisins, nougat and mainly dry baked figs.
On the last Sunday if the weather were allowed to Lakka and outdoor casinos outside of interiors that were turned into impromptu dance centers with local folk instruments again.
Young people were dancing with balls girls, balaristo, shuffling, kalamatiano and stud.
Mykonos dressed "koukougeroi" (maskers) characterized mainly old clothes, the humpback, the smeared faces, animal skins, zoomorphic masks, horns, flasks with mischievous shapes, bells and shouting. the koukougerliki (masquerade) beginning from the first night that entered the Triodion to the last Sunday of Carnival.
Usually the yeast was a group of five to six young people gathered in a house, and decided to dress koukougeroi. Their faces were very well covered with scarves and only their eyes were uncovered, behind cut holes.
On the last Sunday of Carnival, especially the girls were "xemourotes" ie without having covered their faces because they put the most well koukougeristika clothes, vafontousan beautiful and "stroll" in Yialos.
The koukougeroi Ano Mera banged doors with sticks and with their songs lifted from the beds. They willingly opened their door, They were treating the wine and filefan xinotyro, onion, bacon and sausage.
The villagers still have a their own way to dress koukougeroi maintained enough, up to the 70s. They were dressed from neck to toe in dark or light skins. Loaded with bells, pole tied over their heads or horns skull dead donkey who guarded about such cases.
Housewives for the last carnival preparing, cakes and pies. They made onion pies, honey pies, pricks (rafiolakia), custard, galaktoboureko and cooked with plenty skordomakarona xinotyro, which was the main food of Tyrinis Sunday. This custom maintain and Mykonian households today.
In the birthplace of Dionysus celebration starts on the first Saturday of Carnival with the slaughter of pigs.
At noon last Sunday, Apiranthos show "bell-". They wear cloaks and hoods, turning the village and caused by obscene expressions. The same hold "stove", wood parallels the dionysiac phallus.
Together they tangle the "Old Man", the "Old" and "Bear". At carnival events of "Koudounati" one can see the "wedding of the bride ', the "death", the "resurrection of the dead" and "plowing".
On Clean Monday Rivers communities, Kaloxido and Meadows residents dress "Kordelati" or "manliness". The Kordelati foustaneloforoi and their second name "manliness" is attributed to pirates.
Closely follow and robbers, the "Spararatoroi", that grab the girls to put them by force in dance and revelry, which lasts until morning.
Carnival in Crete
Troubadours with guitars, mandolins and old tunes. The masquerade would go through the Great Gate and dance at the "Small" and "large" market streets, with the rhythms of philharmonic.
The carnival festivities culminate with a large parade on the quay S.. Venizelos ending Square Unknown Soldier, for celebration, dancing and farewell carnival.
Clean Monday in Merona and Melidoni villages revive customs like stealing the bride, the "Make", the smearing, which, combined with good wine and sounds of the lyre, is a unique experience.
Carnival in the Peloponnese
The Entrepreneurs Build Schools, with the support of the Municipality of Kalamata, organizes the established carousel in the main square.
A representation of Vlach Wedding and the wedding procession will start from the offices of the association with traditional music. Participants are disguised and they all meet in the Center East Square, wherein follows feast dancing, singing and eating.
Here revives "the Koutrouli marriage", carnival – marriage that lasts from the 14th century. Nowadays, pair of newlyweds are two men, along with their relatives go to the square, which is the marriage of priest and best man. Read the marriage contract, followed by feast.
Every year are in Messina festive carnival events which culminate the weekend Sunday of Carnival and Clean Monday.
These events dating, according to tradition, from the first years of liberation from the Turkish yoke. The Shrovetide Sunday night revives the custom of "fire", unique in Greece. The inhabitants light fires in various neighborhoods of the city, around which dominates the feasting and dancing until morning, a representation of old traditions and stories from locals.
Clean Monday at "Hangman", the representation of the execution of a Gerontissa Messina, candy fig, which according to tradition, hanged at the location of the city with the Ibrahim Pasha ordered, because he had the courage, explaining a dream he had seen, telling him that his campaign he would pitiful end of the reaction and the strength of the revolutionary Greek.
After representation, can each visitor to "hang" by the hangman pseftodimious. In the afternoon of the same day is the parade cheerleaders, floats, disguised ages and dance groups.
The Carnival of Patras is the oldest carnival in Greece and the leading country.
It includes many events such: Eidomata, Baby rally, Carnival of Small, Bourboulia, moons, night Podarati, parade on the eve of last Sunday.
The two parades are one Saturday night and, the other Sunday noon. In these take place over thirty thousand people, most of which are members of the Group of the Hidden Treasure.
Parade watching over 300.000 people, while for some 48 hours the capital of Achaia converted into a center of fun.
The Bourboulia is one of the oldest (about the 1872) and the most popular events of the Carnival of Patras, where is the biggest carnival parade in Greece . All residents, together with people from other parts of Greece or from abroad , participate in fun.
The old times, women could not go out at night and have fun in the celebrations of Carnival. The Bourboulia gave women the opportunity to participate in the dance of Carnival. They had to wear black dominoes (a kind of black dress with hood) and a mask, while men were uncovered and dressed normally. In this way, women were not recognized, and thus had the opportunity to flirt. Sure, Today things have changed, but the dance BOURBOULIA retains its magic.
The Carnival of Patras
The Carnival of Patras is the encounter between a myth to reality, imagination and creativity through the centuries. It is one of the most important events, not only for the city, but also for the entire country.
The period of Carnival in Patras, regardless of the date of the Triodion, It starts the day after the feast of St.. Antoniou, at 18 January. The most important elements (archives) recent research on the Patras Carnival will send us back to the 19th century. But the turning point of the carnival which gives its current form referred to in 1966, with the introduction of the game "Treasure Hunt".
The treasure hunt, from 1966 first introduced, today, turned the anonymous participant in the dominant face of carnival. The talent of thousands of young people, involved with their teams each year, It unfolds in all its glory through the Patras carnival.
The "Treasure Hunt" is a series of questions, puzzles and activities, which turns out to be a brain teaser for "contestants". Members of the teams taking part in the pantomime, gross spectacle, theater, dance, creations and quizzes. imagination, the talent, complexity, the laugh, variety and vitality combine to add something special to the Patras carnival every year.
and then , comes the Grand Parade. This is the greatest moment of Patras carnival. Whole city, plus more than 300.000 Visitors move to the rhythms of the participants (most of 30.000) impose, and chariots (hundreds of them) along with your King Carnival ride at fun trails and freedom from concepts. What happens in Patras, the last Sunday of Carnival, It is the apex of a pyramid, which the Patras Carnival builds every year.
The parade starts in the afternoon with great enthusiasm, dancing, while those who took part in the treasure hunt write their own story in their own way through the city streets.
After the long parade, a single night, King Carnival lovers will savor the species making appointments for next year. It is the moment when the King Carnival will be on fire and the sky of Patras will fill light and color.
Meantime, the vitality of dance does not stop, as thousands of participants will continue to live in a frantic pace until morning. Assistants of Patras Carnival are groups, clubs and sponsors.
The Carnival Committee, the group of people handing out chocolates, the crew of treasure hunters and many others with a genuine spirit of carnival, play theatrical performances, street theater and quizzes.
Carnival in Ionian Islands
Traditional ntelalis turns the island and proclaims the carnival program. Throughout the carnival organized dances, parades, masquerades, theater groups while playing in the squares and streets.
Sundays of Carnival and Tyrinis the procession of Carnival floats accompanied by all areas of the island.
The event closed with the very entertaining "Funeral of the Mask". a representation – mock funeral with much laughter, where the position of the deceased gets the Carnival, followed by grieving relatives, with indescribable evolution. The carnival is not limited only to the city, but transported and p’ all the villages.
The Ntelalis morning, with trumpeters and drummers, traverses the streets to announce the arrival of Carnival Sior. The long procession, with chariots, bands and costumed companions, directed the Lower Square for the established feast.
On the last Sunday of the Carnival parade of Carnival Sior, he crossed the Sarroko, Street C. Theotoki, its cardan Lakoues, will finish in the Lower Square where you will be burning.
Carnival in Sporades
With the beginning of the Triodion and every weekend the days of Carnival, the custom of the island wants the "old" and the "Korela" taking to the streets and give a distinct picture of the day.
The "old man" wears a thick black cape, white woven breeches and has in the middle of 2 – 3 rows of bells, the weight of which can be up to 50 pounds. His face covered with sheepskin small kid and walking with dancing rhythm, manages to sound melodic bells wearing.
The "Korela", queen of old man, They are dressed in traditional clothes Skyros, with the main color is white in stark contrast with the black color of old man, having and she covered her face.
The duo that Skyros Carnival came several times and "Frank". This mummer, dressed in traditional clothes of the island, Skyros satirizes those who pulled the breeches and wore trousers (Frankish).
Another manifestation of Skyros Carnival is "trawl", representation of marine life, where anglers mostly satirize their metrical situations and events related to the Greek daily.
Clean Monday, almost all Skyrians with traditional local costumes descend on the village square and dance and sing songs of Skyros.
Carnival in Thessalia
Faithful to the tradition of the inhabitants of Tyrnavos, on Tuesday, before the last Sunday of Carnival, start events in honor of Dionysus, culminating on Shrove Monday with Bourani (vegetable soup without oil).
"Bourani" for locals and "celebration of Pallu 'for visitors is the custom that has been established in Tirnavos, a custom that has its roots in Dionysian worship and for’ This story is lost in the mists of time.
Since 12 years, Elassona place a separate carnival. This is the Flying Carnival, in which they take part aioropteristes- karnivalistes, attracting the interest of the friends of sports- and not only.
The starting point of the individual… fly carnival "parade" of Elassona is located on the ridge away from the city of Elassona, near the district of Forest.
From there disguised aioropteristes fly up to land at the foot of Mt., wherein receiving the crowd.
Carnival in Ipiros
Every year the Women's Carnival. Is an event organized by women's groups (exclusively). Every Wednesday before Halloween make parade on the main street of the city, dressed in carnival costumes, to reach some of the city centers spree.
On the last Sunday of Carnival is celebrated by "Jamal", i.e. large fires, where masked dance in double and triple rows around them.
Carnival celebrations culminate in the central square of Ioannina, wherein in the famous carousel.
And here every year takes place the Carnival of Women. It is a tradition of many decades, requiring only women participation. Pancake Day is the parade of women participating, and chariots.
Also, the Municipality of Preveza celebrates Koulouma Clean Monday events including music, dance and Lenten dishes in the St. George area.
Carnival in Macedonia-Thrace
Monk – Thracian custom
Thracian custom with strong theatrical element. Transferred to other areas (Drama, Pieria) which moved Thracians. Persons are two monks, the "Babo" with the premature baby child, two brides (impersonating the young men), KATSIVELI two and two policemen. The action is blistering. One Monk suddenly wants to marry and finds the bride.
The other Monk – best man kills the bride mourns. Sometime the Monk is resurrected. The demon nature is killed in a flourishing age to not die of age-related decline and resurrected. "The last part is ritual virtual plowing – plowing front of the church with a new plow and yoke and sowing, practice witchcraft homeopathy, which takes us even before Dionysian rites, "says Catherine Polymerou – Kamilaki, Director of the Research Center of Greek Folklore of the Academy of Athens.
The Chaskaris and Boubounes
On Carnival Sunday Kastoria wrapped in flames ..., They made the Boubounes. Custom of worshiping fire, stating, "Betrays the pre-Christian origins". Another custom, It is "Chaskaris". Someone tied the end of a rolling pin an egg and turns of mouth. Anyone who managed to grab first wins the egg.