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Experience the Vibrant Carnival Celebrations in the Greek Islands 2024

You may have heard about the famous Patras or Xanthi Carnival, but have you discovered the hidden gem of Carnival in the Greek Islands? Embark on a ferry adventure and immerse yourself in the rich...

You may have heard about the famous Patras or Xanthi Carnival, but have you discovered the hidden gem of Carnival in the Greek Islands? Embark on a ferry adventure and immerse yourself in the rich customs and traditions of Apokries. From extravagant parades of giant floats to Dionysian celebrations, dancing around the maypole, and thrilling treasure hunts, the Greek Islands offer a unique carnival experience.

The Custom of Trata in Skyros

Begin your Carnival journey on the largest island of the Sporades, Skyros. As you stroll through the island's vibrant streets, you'll be transported into a world of festive revelry. Locals don traditional costumes such as Geroi (Old Men), Koreles, and Frangoi. The Old Men can be identified by the melodic sound of goat bells tied around their waists, while the Koreles, Skyrian girls dressed in white and yellow, lead the way with their scarves. The Frangoi, adorned with large goat bells, add to the lively atmosphere. Just before Ash Monday, you won't want to miss the entertaining custom of Trata, where locals indulge in satirical performances poking fun at current affairs. Fishermen gather in the main square to share tales and satirize modern politics.

The Carnival Celebration of Mostra in Chios

From the southernmost island of the Northern Sporades, hop on a ferry to Chios and make your way to the village of Thymiana. This picturesque village is the heart of Chio's carnival. Witness the birth of the custom of Mostra after an epic battle between locals and pirates. Join the colorful parade floats, listen to satirical songs, and marvel at the intricately crafted costumes and masks known as moutsounaries. On the last Sunday of the Carnival season, Vrakades (locals) and Koudounatoi (pirates) engage in a mesmerizing dance of striking swords, depicting the movements of warriors during their battle against the pirates. Conclude your Carnival experience with the traditional dance of Detos, where everyone joins hands, forming a jubilant circle. Will you join the Vrakades team or the Koudounatoi team?

The Maypole and the Carnival King in Aegina

Set sail to the enchanting island of Aegina in the Saronic Gulf and prepare to be captivated by the island's artistic spirit. As you disembark from the ferry, you'll be greeted by floating markets adorned with colorful baskets and the graceful ribbons of the maypole that adorn the island. Aegina's Carnival exudes a sense of grandeur, with stunning parade floats and impressive customs. Dance to the lively rhythms of Aegina's Carnival and be entertained by comedy skits across the island. Make sure to stay until the end to witness the symbolic burning of the Carnival King. The village of Mesagros continues the celebrations, as people from all over the island come together to revel in the Carnival of Aegina.

The Parade of Torchlights in Naxos

Bid farewell to the Saronic Gulf and indulge in the Dionysian Carnival experience on the island of Naxos. Join the locals in adorning white attire as you immerse yourself in the ultimate Cycladic celebration. Follow the captivating beats of the drums as they lead you through the charming alleys from the Castle of Naxos to the port. Witness the emergence of ancient Greek spirits through the fiery glow of burning torches. Dance and celebrate until the first light of the next day, enveloped in the allure of this magical island.

Treasure Hunt in Rethymnon

For an unforgettable Carnival experience, head to the enchanting island of Crete and join in the festivities of the Rethymnon carnival. Immerse yourself in a medieval fairytale as the Old Town comes alive with knights, princesses, and jesters. The streets are filled with people of all ages, dancing to the frenetic rhythms of the Apokries in Crete. Delight in the fancy costumes, music, endless dancing, and mesmerizing fireworks. Don't miss the highlight of the Rethymnon Carnival – the Treasure Hunt. Join one of three categories (children, teenagers, or adults) and embark on a thrilling adventure to solve riddles and uncover hidden treasures.

The Venetian Wedding in Zakynthos

Experience a Carnival with Italian influences on the beautiful island of Zakynthos. Every year, Zakynthos transforms into a realm of masquerades and vibrant celebrations. Dance among the masquerades and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the Venetian Wedding, the epitome of Zakynthos Carnival traditions. Immerse yourself in a reenactment of a 16th-century Venetian Carnival, where men dress in women's clothing and women don men's suits. Wander through the narrow streets, joining in the singing of satirical verses and traditional songs along with the disguised brides and grooms.

So, which Greek island will you choose to celebrate the Carnival in 2024? Whether it's Skyros, Chios, Aegina, Naxos, Rethymnon, or Zakynthos, each island offers a unique and unforgettable experience. Book your ferry tickets easily with Ferryhopper and download our free app to track your ferry in real-time. Get ready for the most exciting Carnival in the Greek Islands in 2024!