February 2011: It’s carnival time!

It's carnival time!

A three-month journey through the traditions of Greece is now beginning. Final destination: Easter. First stop: Greek Carnivals. In Greece, carnivals are a major art form and the long festive preparations for the events fill the cities of Greece with joy and excitement. The Carnival season reaches its peak with the extravagant Sunday parades of giant floats and colorful groups. Why not become a member of these groups, disguise yourself, paint your face, dance and sing? In ballrooms. In night clubs. In tavernas. In the streets. Even if you only want to watch the parades, hold your cameras and cell phones high to record the wonderful sight stretching out before you.

Just for a few days, or even hours, you can become whoever, or whatever, you’ve ever dreamed of being. A prince or a princess, a mythological hero, a fisherman, a bird, or even a sea shell. Just name it. Whatever your disguise,


Let’s have fun!

Patras. The “king” of carnivals in Greece is here!

The "King" of carnivals in Greece is here!The Carnival of Patras is sending out a message: you are all invited to a mass celebration of Youth. Young people and everyone who is young at heart can participate in the preparations for the parade and all the festive carnival events. Pick your favourite carnival theme, design your costume, help build a floral or a satirical float and march in the grand parade along with your group. Be spontaneous and improvise. Let the Carnival inspire you!


Special feature: Visit the Archaeological Museum of Patras with our professional tourist guides.

This month, one of our highly trained tourist guides welcomes us to the new Archaeological Museum of Patras. Let’s follow her, and find out why Patras is not just a great carnival city.

Tyrnavos. A forbidden festival. A local “rebellion”

A forbidden festival. A local "rebellion"In the shadow of Mountain Olympus, a town in Thessaly holds a magnificent celebration on the last Sunday of the Carnival season. For an entire month the people of Tyrnavos have fun transforming every street corner into a hub of laughter and song. But that’s not enough for the locals. In Tyrnavos, Clean Monday is not celebrated with the usual fasting but rather by the revival of a Dionysian ritual. What do you reckon? Ready to give it a go?

The IMF is being celebrated at the carnival of Xanthi.

The IMF is being celebrated at the carnival of XanthiThe best-known, most elaborate and most popular Carnival events are held every year in the northern Greek city of Xanthi. The starting date of the carnival festivities in the city is linked to Thracian folkloric celebrations of the mid 60s. Here a number of customs are also re-enacted in the surrounding areas. This year’s Carnival has as one of its themes the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Maybe that should be "International Monetary Madness"!

Here Carnival festivities and Venetian tradition meet.

Here carnival festivities and Venetian tradition meetRethymno, one of the most enchanting towns in Europe, has for almost a century now organised a remarkable carnival each year which draws its vitality from the inexhaustible energy and the love put into this celebration by the people who take part. The carnival celebrations in the town date back to 1914. The carnival period with its colours and Venetian touch lend the carnival in Rethymno an air of the elegance and romance of past times.

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Breathtaking Athens

Reaching the top of the Parthenon in Athens and realizing that I was exactly where I was supposed to be at that very moment.
Amy McKeever on 27 Jan

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