For the Apokries carnival, the City of Athens is decking up the city with bursts of colour and streamers and large injections of party cheer and joy with a rich cultural programme that takes off from 15 February with support from the city council’s Cultural, Sport and Youth Department and the Technopolis City of Athens.
For the 17 days of carnival, the city has designated at 32 locations from which more than 60 festival activities will take place. And they will be free of charge. This will include music concerts, serenades (kandathes), performances and parades, the revival of traditional Athenian carnival customs, and dances.
There are festival programmes for children and families, including educational programs, art workshops, and treasure hunts,to culminate in the Great Children’s Carnival Celebration at the Zappeion on Sunday, 23 February.
As for Tsiknopempti (the day everyone cooks meat) on 20 February, the festivities will begin at 11am in the centre of Athens and will continue at the Barbecue Market with a musical programme that includes singer Bobbie Tserto. A little later there will be a carnival procession which will start at the Museum of Folk Art and Traditions. Angeliki Hadzimichali.
From Friday, 28 February to Sunday 1 March, the focus shifts to concerts being held at the Herodeon, below the Acropolis. Music will be from Glykeria, Melina Kana, Eleni Tsaligopoulou, Bogaz Musique, Kostas Makedonas, Petroloukas Chalkias, Michael Rakintzis and his super band, Petroloukas Fakaros and the Muicaroi, the Wedding Singer, Thakis, Lakis Tzordanelli, Robbie Williams, George Polichroniadis, Bessy Argiraki, and Katerian Athamandithou.
On Clean Monday (Kathara Theftera), 2 March, if the weather allows, there will be traditional kite flying on Filopappou Hill,. The star performer on this day will be Gogo Tsampa, the woman who has renewed interest in the Demotic music.
“This is another opportunity to enjoy the carnival. These are Apokries were planned with great care so that young and old Athenians and visitors to the city will enjoy the festivities. Apokries have always given a sweet familiar flavour and have stimulated dialogue between the old and new. It is during Apokries that we are not scared to dress up in crazy colours and laugh from our very souls,” said Athens Mayor Kostas Bakogiannis.