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Rethymno Carnival 2018

Carnival in Greece is a huge, colorful celebration and where better to join in the festivities than the city of Rethymno in the island of Crete, where the local festival called “Rethymno Carnival” will be taking place on 27 January – 19 February 2018.

In Rethymno the Greek Carnival, also known as Apokries (the Greek Version of Mardi Gras), has a strong Venetian influence from the period that the island of Crete was under Venetian rule. Old customs are revived and traditions celebrated by people of all ages as thousands of care free revellers take to the streets dancing and singing dressed in elaborate and lavish costumes.

Celebrations commence on Saturday January 27th with the Rethymno Carnival opening ceremony featuring several events and introducing the Carnival King and culminate on the weekend of 18-19 February before Clean Monday with an impressive Grand Parade of groups and their giant decorated carts as well as the closing ceremony that includes the burning of the Carnival King cart followed by a spectacular fireworks show and a live concert.

In between and for almost a whole month, the city of Rethymno will be hosting several vibrant and fun filled events where locals and visitors can come together to celebrate this centuries-old custom that originates in ancient times and in particular the worshiping of the Greek God Dionysus. As always, the apokries celebrations will include street parties and parades where participants are organized into different groups – each one wearing a unique extravagant costume, Cretan traditional Serenades (a traditional Cretan folk music event), children’s treasure hunts and much more.

2018 Greek Carnival Dates
• Triodion – Sunday, January 28th
• Tsiknopempti or "Burnt Thursday" – Thursday, February 8th
• Main Carnival Weekend – Friday, February 16th-Sunday February 18th
• Clean Monday – Monday, February 19th

More info about the Apokries:
Greece's Carnival season, called Apokries, which literally means 'abstinence from meat' (apo-kreas), is the four week period prior to Clean Monday (also known as Ash Monday) that marks the start of Lent (forty-day fasting period) leading up to the Greek Orthodox Easter. However, this age-old custom actually has its roots in ancient times during which people celebrated the end of winter and the coming of spring while worshiping Dionysus, the Greek God of Wine and Grape Harvest.

For more info about Rethymno Carnival please see here:

Photo © Municipality of Rethymnon, Carnival photo archives


Rethymno Carnival 2018

27/01/2018 - 19/02/2018
Location: CRETERETHYMNORethymno

Hours - Comments
Dates: 27 January 2018 - 19 February 2018 ¦ Location: Crete, Rethymno ¦ Venue: various locations at the city of Rethymno ¦ Event times: For the detailed events programme please see the official Rethymno Carnival website ¦More info:

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