Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Another year of Carnival

This is one event that I look forward to each year...
 *Drum roll please*

I posted a bit about it last year on my Tumblr site: http://jooyeon.tumblr.com/.
(Tumblr is great- cool designs and super easy to use. Was experimenting with that last year but I find blogspot has a great community and many fantastic bloggers.)

Instead of Halloween in North America, we have the whole 3 spanking weeks to celebrate it!
Apokries is the preparation period before Lent.

Apokries - Carnival Traditions  

  1. During the second week of Apokries, known as “Kreatini” (Meat Week), we eat lots and lots of meat.
  2. The Thursday of the second week of carnival is known as “Tsiknopempti” (Tsikna Thursday). This is when the festivities begin. Traditionally, everyone must cook meat so that the smoke or “tsikna” fills the air and everybody knows it’s a feast-day.
  3. Usually on Tsiknopempti the first masqueraders make their appearance and the first carnival parties are held. Many go out in town dressed up to cafes/bars.
  4. The third week is called “Tyrini” (Cheese Week) - people can eat dairy products and fish but not meat.
  5. Apokries ends on “Kathari Deftera” (Clean Monday), the first day of Lent, the 40-day fast until Easter Sunday. On Clean Monday, the “koulouma” are held. Everybody goes off to the countryside, eats Lenten food and flies kites.

The last Sunday of the 3-week period fell on March 6 this year. Almost every town organizes a parade for this day, but the biggest one in Crete is in Rethymno. 
Rethymno Carnival is one of the biggest carnivals in Greece, with the biggest one in Patras.

Every year, some 100,000 spectators flock to Rethymno for its well organized parade, to drink a little, and to have a wonderful time. (And usually better weather compared to Patras).

In Chania, you may see a few people dressed up, but in Rethymno, the party and fun goes on for weeks before the parade! They have their own website here.

... Even TV-trash comes to Rethymno to party:
Last year, our group walked right by Julia Alexandratou
(Beauty pagent winner, who turned into a model/shitty singer, turned into a whore pornstar)

This year, Alexandros Petridis (Guy with HUGE, bulging white fake set of teeth who seems to be totally inlove with himself.)
When he saw me and blew me a kiss, I almost threw up.
Do you recognize him?


Next year, I would like to run into a tv-personality who is actually famous for their talent!
Elena Paparizou? Mixalis Hatzigiannis?

We ALMOST didn't make it to Rethymno this year, but so glad that we made it!
Weather forecasted rain, we didn't have fuel (Almost all gas stations are closed on sundays) , and maybe forgot a little of how crazy it is.
But then the sun came out, we found a benzinadiko (fuel station), and we were all pumped up to go!
I don't want to miss a year of Rethymno-- EVVARRR!! It's THAT awesome!

Carla and I- Smiling widely knowing what to expect from crazy Rethymno!

We got right in the action and danced our way down.

floats with grills, so incase you get hungry (while parading!!) you can eat some meat. Ha ha!

Busy streets

I am amazed at what a world of difference Canadian parades are compared to here.
Here, I've seen some sexual images and messages on floats, drinking publicly while mingling with children, loud music blaring on all streets, bars, and cafes, yet it's all in good fun.
 It's always great to participate in a community event where people let loose, everyone is friendly, is not afraid to dance and act silly.

That's why I love the Rethymno Carnival. 
Until next year!


lilalo said...

Glad you had a great time although we didn't manage to meet. Hahaha, indeed there were a lot of half-naked people wandering among families with children, but overall it was safe and well-organized, you have to admit!

epanechnikov said...

Funny pictures. So you didn't like my kiss!! :(

With love,

Alexandros Petridis

p.s. don't worry I am just kidding. I am not Alexandros Petridis (thank God for that) :)) I am glad you enjoy your time in Crete and I hope I'll manage to visit the island this summer...

Jooyeon said...

@lilalo: Yes, haha. I was pleasantly surprised at how organized it was. All in good fun! :D

@epanechnikov: Hahaha!! You almost got me. I suppose he can actually google himself and probably land on my page mocking him. Haha. Glad you liked the post.
Crete is a wonderful island to visit!

epanechnikov said...

So I almost got you! I should have pretended to be him for a while ;)

I've heard excellent things about Crete (and I've seen beautiful pictures too!). So I guess it is probably time to visit the island. A Santorini-Crete trip would be excellent (fingers crossed !)

Jooyeon said...

Hello again!

Yes, Crete and Santorini both are very beautiful! It is best to visit in May, or late September to avoid the crowd. We still have amazing weather at that time as well :D