Patras Carnival - Parties, Parades, Treasure hunts
Patras Carnival - 40 days of party
Patras carnival with it’s parties parades, treasure hunts and balls is one of Europe’s biggest. For 40 days the citizens of Patras party their way towards lent which in Greek orthodox calendar begins on ache Monday in the beginning of March.
The carnival itself is the variety of entertainment, some mixture of municipal events some private parties in homes, bars, restaurants all over the city. Toward the beginning of the celebration period, the children celebrate with their costumes and parade.
Kids party over before the parents starts
One parent said that it’s best to get the kids done and over with while the parents are still sober and that isn’t the case in the last week and a half when all the adults throw caution to the wind and really let their hair down.
Tsiknopempti - the meat eating day
It all begins on Thursday eleven days before ache Monday called Tsiknopempti – a day of meat eating. It’s basically a good excuse for a Bar-B-Que. People set up grills in their homes, even in the street and at midday the whole of the country shuts down for the unofficial half day holiday.
Thursday of Brioling meat - Tsiknopempti
Tsiknopempti is made of two Greek words. One is Tsikna is the smell that comes out of broiling meat and pempti means Thursday in Greek. Greeks eat a lot of meat this day all over Greece in preparation of the Easter lent.
It all starts with a mini parade
In patra a mini parade Harolds the beginning of the tsiknopempti celebrations. Then it’s time to dig in and get a bit tipsy. The partying carries on well into the night. Come the weekend and the grownups party is in full swing. On the Saturday night the mayor throws a ball, the theme is Ballet Park. The Sunday night is however what everyone is waiting for.
Burbuli - beginning of 7 nights of seduction
This is the first of the 7 balls called Burbuli held on 7 nights culminating on the Sunday before ache Monday the women come in cloaks and masks called dominos. Their admission is free. The men on the other hand pay and come in their every day suite. Tonight the men are the victims as the women set out to seduce them.
Burbuli, the beginning of the end of a marriage
Back at the end of 1800s all the men used to have fun in the carnival. Somebody came up with the disguise for the ladies and that’s Burbuli which can now a day’s be the beginning of the end of a marriage. So even though it’s time to forget all and let loose there are still things to be wary about.
Last weekend's parade
If you enjoyed 7 days of seduction with your marriage intact then you can enjoy the culmination of carnival’s last weekend’s parade. These are mammoth extravaganza attracting over 50000 people.
Effigy Burnt, Party Over
On the Saturday there’s an evening parade and on Sunday the grand parade kicks off at 2 in the afternoon and takes most of the day to wind its way through the city. At night the effigy of the carnival king is burnt and the party is over for another year. All that’s left is to get over your hangover and decide just how you’re going to make it through lent.