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Apokries: The Three Weeks of The Greek Carnival “Triodion” are Already Begun | Discover More about Pieria Region’s celebration traditions

The Greek Carnival “Apokries” have already begun all over Greece. Hence, Greeks of all ages look forward to masquerading themselves, celebrating, and engaging in pranks to keep the spirit of the Greek Carnival alive.

In  2023 “Apokries” is from Sunday, February 5th to Sunday, February 26th. That’s why being in Pieria in winter is a great way to enjoy lots of celebrations and Greek Traditions and of course enjoy weeks of eating, drinking, meeting great people and, visiting the archaeological sites which are the most beautiful in Pieria Greece in the winter and early spring.

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The Greek Carnival events are all about fun, dance, and colors marking a unique and interesting three weeks while gradually saying goodbye to the consumption of meat products and preparing the faithful for the upcoming Great Lent.

people and clowns hold balloons during Apokries The Greek Carnival in Litochoro, Pieria, Greece
Carnival in Litochoro – Photos by Dionisis Koulianos

You can also refer to the three weeks of the Greek Carnival as “Triodion”, which is named after the liturgical book used by the Greek Orthodox Church during the Masses from the first week up to Easter’s Holy Week. 

The first week of the “Triodion” is called Profoni. According to tradition, during this week, Greeks prepare tons of meat to be grilled or cooked for the coming week.

The second week is called “Kreatini” or “Tsiknopempti”. Greeks traditionally go to Greek restaurants and taverns to eat big chunks of barbecued beef and delicious meat products. Thus, they will get the last chance to eat meat products before the third week of the Greek Carnival kicks in.

During the last week which is called “tyrini”, which is named after the Greek word for cheese, and before the beginning of the Great Lent, the consumption of meat is no longer allowed. From non-fasting foods, only dairy products can still be eaten. 

Then, Cheese Sunday is the last day of the triodion’s final week, in which the image of the Carnival King is symbolically burned to say goodbye to the preceding celebrations, followed by Clean Monday and the Great Lent.

The most famous tradition happening about the Carnival is the big parade on the central streets. Also, Resembling a street-theater performance is one of the most significant traditions of the Greek Carnival. Actors sit on window sills overlooking the narrow alleys of the old town and exchange their gossip in the local dialect.

Coming to the favorite tradition of the Greek Carnival celebration is always every person could become someone else and act inelegantly to express themselves more freely by wearing a mask or even painting their face. 

As in antiquity, believers covered their faces with the dregs of must and masks, dressed in sheepskins and animal skins, and tried to look like the Satyrs, the attendants of Dionysus.


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