Carnival season in Greece is an important holiday period that leading up to the Orthodox Easter Sunday! This year the celebrations start from 9th February until 1st of March the first day of Lent. So in total a celebration of twenty-two days, including 3 weekends, there are many private parties, parades and public events organized by municipalities and schools all over Greece. Book a Santorini Private Guided Tour and spent the carnival season on the best island in Greece!
How Carnival weeks named and what you can eat?
The Greek carnival season is divided in 3 weeks and all the Greeks are preparing for the Lent with great festivals and parties. The first week opens the carnival and it is named Profoni, because everyone is shouting that the carnival season begins. The second week it is named Kreatini, because you can eat meat every day and the third week is called Tirini, because you only eat dairy products and fish.
Of course Carnival is a feast of great parties that takes place all over the country with masquerades, dancing and music. The name ‘Apokries’ means avoidance from meat because, after that, the period of Easter Lent begins, where there is no meat consumed for 40 days.
What is Tsiknopempti and how can you celebrate it in Greece?
On the second week of Carnival and on Thursday, Greeks celebrate the so called “Tsiknopempti”. On this particular day everyone grills and eats meat. The smell of grilled meat, which fills every neighbourhood, is called “tsikna”! Most Greeks gather with friends and family, in order to feast! This means, they will eat meat, smell the “tsikna”, drink and dance until late at night!
Where the Carnival take place in Santorini?
The unique aspect of Carnival is wearing costumes and masks. This festival, dates back to the period of Dionysos, the ancient Greek god of wine and theatre. The greatest Carnival that takes place in Patra. However, there are many other’s cities like Xanthi, Santorini, Naxos, Mytilini, Thessaloniki, and Athens that celebrate equally.
The carnival customs of Santorini differ from the rest of Greece. Something like that happens with everything on the island. We may not find similar customs, but the carnival in Fira Square is still here and fills the island with fun, dance and smiles, a sight worth watching and living.
What are the carnival customs of Santorini?
In the past, from the feast of St. Anthony to the Sunday of Tirini and the beginning of the Triodion, children and adults dressed in funny costumes and visited the various houses in the evenings. As soon as they got out of the door the masquerades shouted: “Can the masquerades get inside? And the master of the house replied, “Get in. Get in”
On the afternoon of the Carnival everybody is dressed up and change their voices according to the costume they wear. Because they couldn’t reveal their faces they had to play a short role in a story, only they know and the party begins. Book a Santorini Sunset Wine Tour, a Santorini Private Tour or a Santorini Popular Destination Tour and enjoy your stay there without wondering where to start from.
What is Clean Monday?
The name might sound weird but really, it is not that Greeks clean up their homes on this day. The Clean Monday is always placed every year 7 weeks before the Greek Orthodox Easter Sunday. This is an usual moveable feast that will introduce you to the Greek traditions and customs and make you feel like a local! The carnival ends this day and the Lent begins. On Kathara Deftera most of the Greeks leave the big cities and visit the countryside with friends and families to have a picnic and fly a kite.
Kathara Deftera (Clean Monday) is a day of joy and more tranquil celebrations. As in the rest of Greece, locals head for the nearby beach in the morning, where they fly colourful kites to the sky. At noon, they gather in the village centre to share the traditional meal of the day: “lagana” (traditional flatbread, originally prepared without yeast), “taramosalata” (Greek caviar paste), seafood, beans and other fasting delicacies.
How can you built a kite?
Making a kite is not as hard as it seems. Here’s the material you will need.
- A rectangular piece of paper – A4 is good. Feel free to decorate it, either now or in step two.
- A paper hole punch.
Fold paper in half widthways. Bring the two short sides of your piece of paper together and press along the bend to make a crease. Now is a great time to decorate your kite! Use pens, pencils, crayons, felt-tip pens, a printer, but be careful not to weigh it down too much. If it’s too heavy it won’t be able to fly!
Bend the front corner of the top layer down to touch the crease. Repeat on the back layer and staple.The essential thing with this step is to only bend the corners down. If you fold them, the kite will not work. The exact position of the corner is not critical, but will affect how your kite flies. If you don’t have access to a functional stapler and staples, you can pierce through the two corners and the body of the kite with your hole making device.
Thread string through the hole and tie it off. The knot used is not important as long as it will keep the string attached to the kite. Find somewhere with a steady breeze free from things that could get in the way. Release your kite with one hand while holding the string in the other. Your kite should take off! Enjoy!