Carnival In Athens

  • by XpatAthens
Carnival In Athens

IMPORTANT PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT - Carnival celebrations cancelled!!

Kostas Bakoyannis: the City of Athens celebrates Carnival Season with festive and colorful events all over the city!

As we enter the Pre-Lenten season, the City of Athens is transformed into a colorful setting spreading streamers and Carnival fun and joy around the city. For this year’s Carnival season, the Culture, Sports & Youth Organization of the City of Athens (OPANDA) together with Technopolis City of Athens, have co-created a rich program of events starting from February 15th.

The city streets fill with confetti, masks, capes and hats while percussion and bass drums give the rhythm. Harlequins, pierrots and clowns hide near the Acropolis Hill, the city center and all around the neighborhoods with the intention to carry us away with their joyful tunes… All these happenings together with many more will unravel the vibrant maypole of this year’s festivities as the joyful dance of the Athenian carnival begins!

For 17 days, 32 spots around Athens will be hosting more than 60 festive activities with free admission to all. The carnival agenda has it all: concerts, music tours, serenades, performances and parades, revival of traditional Athenian carnival customs, treasure hunt, dancing, satirical songs, tarantella dance sessions, guitars, mandolins, ocarinas and bass drums along with afro-brazilian percussions!

The Carnival events program has also provided for our younger carnival enthusiasts, including plenty of activities for kids and families: educational programs and art workshops invite our little friends to put on their costumes, explore different materials, experiment with the tradition, create and play leisurely. Undoubtedly, an exceptional event among the many children’s activities is the -well established- Carnival Celebrations for Children at Zappeion. On Sunday the 23rd of February, little ones and grown-ups celebrate with music, jugglers, magicians, dancers, stilt walkers, crafts, face painting and much more...

As for Tsiknopempti (Smoked Thursday) the 20th of February, the festivities begin early in the morning in the center of Athens! Celebrations start at 11.00 and continue - where else? – in Varvakios Market with a music program by BabisTsertos performing the most beautiful songs of the Greek repertoire. A bit later, the most distinctive folk carnival celebration with the maypole dancers begins, starting from the “Aggeliki Chatzimihali” Museum of Folk Art and Tradition, and will fascinate whoever meets along its way.

The festivities, as expected, will take off on Kathara Deftera (Clean Monday). On Friday the 28th, Saturday the 29th of February and Sunday the 1st of March, many of our favorite Greek artists will be entertaining us in a series of some very special concerts… under the Acropolis. Having Thissio as our base, we begin for a colorful and multidimensional musical journey having joy and happiness as our destination goal. Our vehicles will be the celebrated festivals of Ikaria and the Cyclades, those of mainland Greece, the memorable folk hits of the golden decades from the 60s to the 90s. We will have the pleasure to see Glykeria and Melina Kana in an unexpected musical collaboration, EleniTsaligopoulou, and Boğaz Musique at a post minor asian palco, Kostas Makedonas, one of the best - not only but mainly - folk singers of his generation, Petroloukas Chalkias, the master of the clarinet, Michalis Rakintzis along with his super band throwing a thrilling party, Nikos Fakaros and the Musicaroi with their Aegean vibes, Wedding Singers for a love “attack” full of stardust and 90s dancing moves and we will remember that “those were the days” along with: Dakis, Lakis Giordanelli, Robert Williams, Yorgos Polychroniadis, Bessy Argyraki, and Katerina Adamantidou.

The peak, however, of the carnival period comes on Kathara Deftera (Clean Monday), the 2nd of March. We meet up at Filopappou Hill to fly our kites and celebrate the “Koulouma” tradition. Headliner of this festive day is GogoTsampa! The singer who managed to revive the audience’s interest for folk music will be there and nothing will stop us from dancing! This year, Athens gets dressed in its most beautiful and fancy jewels and invites us to celebrate Carnival through a colourful mosaic of activities and events, be carried away by the music and experience our city as we’ve never had before…

"Another great opportunity to see Athens dressed in colors and festivities. We have carefully designed a number of Carnival events so that Athenians of all ages as well as our visitors feel that they belong here. It's the Carnival itself which has this familiar, sweet taste of tradition while at the same time is in an open dialogue with the fresh and the new! It's the Carnival itself that's not afraid to have fun, to dress up in the craziest colors and laugh out loud" points out the Mayor of Athens, Kostas Bakoyannis.

Click HERE to view the full schedule of events!