Choose Your Carnival In Greece

The carnival experience in Greece will vary greatly depending on what part of Greece you'll be celebrating.

In Patra for example you'll experience Greece's largest carnival while in the Ionian Islands it will feel more like a Venetian Carnival, especially Corfu. Other towns and villages will be more distinctive especially ones with unique history.

Carnival in Patra, Greece

Photo Courtesy of Christos Papaoikonomou

A couple of good examples are the Amfissa Carnival and Galaxidi. Amfissa is known for its ghosts and carnival here is more like a Greek type of Halloween. Galaxidi has what they call Alevromavrisma which is basically a flour war.

Galaxidi Flour War

The most rustic of all is the Tzamales Carnaval of Ioannina. A town in Epirus located in northwestern Greece. It's hard to tell how old this celebration really is but many of its traits are found in Ancient Greek writings. It seems to be related to the Dionysian festivals which is where Carnaval originated from.

Great big bonfires are set up in each town square. Each area will be competing to see who has the best bonfire but especially which group parties the latest.

Photo Courtesy of Animadm

They are first lit when the sun sets and the message here is that Spring has won over Winter. It has also been looked at as the triumph of Good over Evil or the triumph of Life over Death.

The streets get packed and the energy is high. The event supplies the wine (no sulfites added in Greece) and Tsipouro (like a Grappa) and the masqueraders and all carnival goers will be having plenty.

Photo Courtesy of Animadm

If the wine and Tsipouro is hitting you too hard you can grab yourself a souvlaki or something more traditional to keep your booze down. Look for any type of pie as these are specialties here but be on the lookout for a special greens and poppy flower pita that there's no doubt you'll love.

Photo Courtesy of Animadm

These dishes are most likely going to be found right next to the fires. Expect a row or more of traditional Greek circle dancing.

There's also a competition to see who's fire is the tallest and who's party lasted the latest. Whoever wins has bragging right for that year.

Kali Sarakosti

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