Monday 27 February 2017

Apokries - Carnavali Procession

As I mentioned in my previous post Apokries a three-week carnival immediately preceding Lent in the Greek Orthodox church. It's believed that it started in ancient times as a worship to Dionysos, the god of wine and feast. In the Orthodox tradition it's the preparation period before Lent. Apokries means literally saying no to meat (apo-kreas), as does the word carnival (carne-vale). It's usually celebrated in February but it does of course depend on when Easter falls. It's a time of dressing up, parades, street theatre and lots of food.

On Sunday, the last day of the three-week Apokries celebrations, we took the bus to Athens as we wanted to take part in the procession through Plaka. There were quite a few people who were dressed up on the bus, but because it was very crowded, I was only able to take this one snap.

A big crowd by the Acropolis Museum waiting for the procession to start.

A lot of the kids were dressed up

 and some people had gone to a lot of effort

I wondered if these two had been to the Zombie Walk the night before.

There was dancing around the maypole

and then the procession started. We had been expecting floats but there were only about a dozen people who acted as facilitators to lead the crowd which was considerable by then.

We marched through the narrow streets of Plaka for a while

but soon we were in need of refreshment so we stopped at O Glykys, a traditional kafeneion.

Zoro came up to us while we were having our lunch to show us his sword

and to ask us who we thought he was.  Sweet!

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