The Carnival season is in full swing throughout Greece, with revelries lasting to February 14, the eve of the Clean Monday holiday that marks the beginning of the 40-day Great Lent leading to Orthodox Easter.
Throughout Greece yesterday grand parade of floats took place and saw the traditional burning of King Carnival which were accompanied by fireworks displays.
The western port city of Patras, home of Greece’s first and longest-running Carnival, pulled out all stops this year with a bevy of events that culminated in the major parade of floats yesterday.
A taste of what’s to come was offered by the Children’s parade earlier in the week, which featured children’s floats, such as the scientist’s air bicycle, the little carnival boy, the icebergs, the recycling drums and the smoke factory.
The town of Galaxidi, located 200 kilometres northwest of Athens will mark the carnival with their traditional flour-throwing festival today. Hundreds of people will paint their faces with charcoal, dance on the streets, and throw large quantities of rainbow-coloured flour at each other to celebrate Clean Monday.
In Greece, Carnival is known as Apokria, and just like its Latin counterpart means saying goodbye to meat-eating (‘apo’ means ‘away’ and ‘kria’ – meat, just as ‘carne’ in Latin means ‘meat’ and ‘vale’ – to take leave of).