Thassos Carnival

The famous Carnival of Thassos Greece, Eastern Aegean: The Carnival is a festival very popular among the inhabitants of Thassos. It is largely celebrated in the traditional manner in all the villages of the island and especially in Potamia village, where a great parade takes place. In fact, the Carnival of Thassos is very famous in Northern Greece and many old costumes revive.

The first day of Lent, which is called Clean Monday in Greek, marks the culmination of the carnival season and there is plenty of feasting, masquerades and dancing that spread the spirit of joy and fellowship among the inhabitants of this small mountainous island. On the last Friday night before Lent, Potamia, a picturesque village tucked away on a mountainside in Thassos, comes alive with festivities. In the evening, everyone gathers at the square to take part in the celebrations.

People come dressed in fancy costumes and disguises and dance to the tune of traditional music. Children in colorful costumes are the first to go out to the streets when the party begins. Sausages are grilled on street sides and are freely offered to all, accompanied with bread and the traditional sweet red wine of Thassos. The street party carries on well till the small hours.

The Potamia Carnival Parade marks the Sunday before Lent, the last Sunday of the Carnival. The people gather at the square at around noon. The parade usually starts at 2 o'clock in the afternoon and is made up of local dancers and groups depicting the social and political life of Greece or sometimes centered on some international event that has caught public interest.

The themes are often satirical and are a source of great amusement to the spectators. The parade lasts about 2 hours. Grills placed close to the village square dole out hot spicy sausages and a variety of piping hot snacks to all the revelers, while wine is offered to all. After the parade, the party continues with dancing all evening long.

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