In what was a hot day out and lots of fun for the whole family, the Annual Greek Festival of the Hellenic Community of Moorabbin preceded Lent celebrations with an ‘Apokriatiko’ twist.

Undeterred by Sunday’s high temperatures Greek Australian carnival-goers attended the event held at Heatherton, prepared to dance and party hard before the 40-day period of strict fasting in preparation for Greek Orthodox Easter.

This year’s carnival featured the Big Carnival Parade, and best dressed awards for the best carnival outfit with the unique Manasis School of Greek Dance and Culture costumes stealing the show.

Some very rare costumes, worn only during the traditional carnival season known as Apokries, were spotted at the festival featuring decade-old animal skins, masks and bells.

“Although the ritual varies from village to village, country to country, the essence of the koudounoforoi, rogatsia, rougatsaria, kalikantzaroi, maskarades and karnavaloi remains the same,” Manasis School director Dimosthenis Manasis explained.

“It is one of the oldest known folk traditions still in existence, shared right throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East.”