If you find yourself wondering around the islands of Greece during February don’t be alarmed if you encounter a witch, a dragon or a fairy on your way. Most likely they will offer you candy or ask you to dance and join them at the celebrations of the Greek Carnival.
So, lets discover one by one the top island destination for the Carnival or else Apokries in Greece.
(Image Credits: greek-island-holidays.co.uk)
The city of Rethymno celebrates the carnival with serenades and melodies from a bygone era. The masquerades go through the Great Door and dance through the small and the large markets to the tunes of the philharmonic orchestra. The carnival is concluded with a large parade, dancing and feasting, treasure hunting and other entertaining events.
Find a travel guide for Rethymno here->> Rethymno Guide Tips
(Image Credits: nisokos.gr)
Around the area of Kefalos and Antimaheia revives the custom of the “Kamouzeles” or bucks, a group of people dressed up with colorful woven rugs and painted with charcoal that go around the streets teasing the locals. The celebration continues with lots of dancing, singing and feasting on regional specialties until late at night where the burning of the spirit takes place.
Find a travel guide for Kos here->> Kos Guide Tips
(Image Credits: realchios.gr)
In the village of Thymiana in Chios island, the locals celebrate the custom of “Mostras” for two days. The men of the village dress up as women or wear impromptu masks and “dare” the locals to follow them into a 2-day celebration with lots of singing and traditional dancing.
Find a travel guide for Chios here->> Chios Guide Tips
(Image Credits: alternatrips.gr)
A famous custom during the carnival of Naxos is the parade of “Koudounatoi”. A group of men wearing a cape and hood, that walk around and tease everyone they meet on their way at the village of Apeiranthos. Along with the Koudounatous follow the Old lady, the Old man and the Bear and they all take part at the reenactments of “the marriage of the bride”, “the death”, the “resurrection of the dead” and the “ploughing”. The carnival ends with the Kordelatous wearing local customs, the Pirates and the Thieves that steal the women of the village to join them for a dance.
Find a travel guide for Naxos here->> Naxos Guide Tips
(Image Credits: thousandwonders.net)
The entire island of Zante celebrates the carnival with big parades, masquerades, theatrical plays, singing and dancing. The carnival comes to an end with the Funeral of the Mask, a mock funeral that inspires great laughter and fun.
Find a travel guide for Zante here->> Zante Guide Tips
(Image Credits: corfuguide.gr)
A herald announces the coming of the Carnival with the parade of trumpeters and drummers. The masquerade begins with floats and hordes of people in costumes filling the streets of Corfu and ends with the burning of Sir Carnival.
Find a travel guide for Corfu here->> Corfu Guide Tips
(Image Credits: sne.gr)
The Carnival of Skyros commences with the Old man and the Lady wearing traditional local costumes and masks. The old man carries big bells around his waist and begins to jingle his bells so as to get everyone in the mood for dancing. Along goes Frangos, another figure of the carnival dressed in a local costume teasing the locals he encounters on his way. The carnival concludes with lots of masquerades, dancing and singing throughout the island of Skyros.
Find a travel guide for Skyros here->> Skyros Guide Tips
With so many destinations to pick from there is only one question left for you to answer. Are you ready to celebrate? If the answer is yes, simply pack your bag, grab your mask and attend one of the top carnivals taking place in the Greek islands.