ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Apokries - Halloween Carnival in Greece

Updated on January 27, 2016
Carolina Crete profile image

Carolina lives on the Greek island of Crete, has published a guide book, and runs a website about living in Crete.

Well that's pretty scary
Well that's pretty scary

Halloween - Carnival

Otherwise known as Apokries, Apokrias and Carnival in Greece

Does Greece celebrate Halloween?

Actually no !

But there is a similar festival which takes place in February before Lent in the Greek Orthodox Church, called Apokries (or Apokrias). Apokries is also known as the Carnival (Karnivali) time.

It's all about dressing up and having fun, like a Halloween of sorts.

During the three weeks of the Apokries period Greece is alive with masqueraders. Adults dress up and throw parties or frequent the town cafes and bars dressed in masks, wigs and funny, scary or risqué costumes. For example men often dress up as outrageous women with high heels, short skirts, huge inflated false boobs and an overdose of lipstick, blusher and false eyelashes. Others may dress up as priests or wear masks of well known politicians, actors or film characters. They often carry props such as plastic battons, streamers, confetti, tins of foam, whistles and clackers; all adding to the rowdy party atmosphere.

Carnival in Crete
Carnival in Crete
Carnival in Greece
Carnival in Greece

Children - even babies - enjoy the fun too of course... masquerade parties are held in villages and schools for the young ones, who dress up in all manner of costumes from witches and warlocks to telly tubbies and angels.

Masqueraders use their disguises and masks to call anonymously at the houses of friends and neighbours, who try to guess their identities.

Cakes and sweets are offered to the masquerading children on these house calls, or shots of whisky or the local fire water to adults in disguise. This is usually a ploy to entice the masquerader to remove his mask to uncover his identity!

So similarly there is a kind of trick or treat -ing here in Greek Apokries, but ..... they get to do both. The treat is offered - the sweet, cake or whisky, but is then usually followed by the trick - throwing confetti, streamers or foam all around the house (yes I know it's tame, and just in fun, but you try cleaning up tons of the stuff from your carpet!).

At the end of the three week period Apokries culminates with the Grand Carnival Parades which are held all across Greece. The largest and most famous of which is held in Patras. There are also large parades held in Athens and in Rethymnon, Crete, amongst many others.

Help. She put a spell on me
Help. She put a spell on me
Dancing Priests
Dancing Priests


The Apokries period in Greece lasts for three weeks, and it's non-stop party time before the restrictions of Lent and fasting kick in.


The Carnival started in Ancient times, believed to be as worship to Dionysos, the God of Wine and Feast. In the Orthodox tradition Apokries is the preparation period before Lent. Apokries means literally saying goodbye to meat ...'Apoxh apo kreas' in Greek.



In 2016 Apokries starts Sunday February 21st and ends Sunday March 13th 2016.


Want to learn more about Carnival in Greece? Click Here

Patras Carnival, Greece

Halloween - Killer Costumes, Spooky music and more...

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Sapinur 

      3 years ago

      M & D Adams, August 10, 2012 at 4:51 pm We stayed at the Lemon Tree for three nigths in June. Great fun in a traditional room but the visit was made memorable by the food. Mark can invent a new dish for you on the spot. If anyone is going near Handras suggest you hurry as it's the last chance for this food. Mark and Anita are returning to the UK at the end of this season as the children are now school age. We predict that in future his cooking will be a lot more exclusive and expensive!M & D Adams. Stamford UK

    • profile image

      Kara 

      3 years ago

      sweet

    • profile image

      karnavalos 

      4 years ago

      karnavalia

    • crystolite profile image

      Emma 

      7 years ago from Houston TX

      Funny and interesting article which has horrifying pics.

    • Carolina Crete profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolina Crete 

      9 years ago from Crete, Greece

      In Latin the roots of the word Carnival has the same meaning - 'carne'' = meat and  'vale' = goodbye.

    • Dottie1 profile image

      Dottie1 

      9 years ago from MA, USA

      The Apokries in Greece sounds like a wonderful time. It was interesting to learn that Apokries was the preparation period before Lent and that Apokries means literally saying goodbye to meat... Thanks for a great hub.

    • Anna Marie Bowman profile image

      Anna Marie Bowman 

      9 years ago from Florida

      Three whole weeks?! Count me in!!

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 

      9 years ago from Southern California, USA

      The Greek tradition sounds more fun than the American one. Thanks for the interesting hub.

    • Carolina Crete profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolina Crete 

      9 years ago from Crete, Greece

      Thanks for your comments Patty & Ryan. You can't beat a three week party! Yes it's great fun.

    • Ryan Hupfer profile image

      Ryan Hupfer 

      9 years ago from San Francisco, CA

      I wanna go! Halloween is my favorite holiday of all time, but this looks like just as much of a good time. Thanks for being a HubMobster!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 

      9 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Thsi looks like it could be fun. Somewhere in Scandinavia they do this for 3 days, beginning in the middle of a cold night in February and continuing on with a 3-day party the next morning. Can't remember where it is, but I belive Life Magazine covered it one year.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)