Naxos Carnival

The Carnival of Naxos: Over the last years, there is a large effort by local authorities and voluntary teams in Naxos to revive the carnival festivities. These festivities are strongly connected to Greek mythology and particularly god Dionysus, who lived on that island. In particular, the last weekend of the Carnival (the weekend before Clean Monday) various events take place in many villages.

On Friday night of the last Carnival Weekend, the custom of Methydotia is presented in Naxos Town, with the participants trying to revive the philosophy of god Dionysus, the most ambiguous of the Olympian Gods. The music of the event is enthusiastic and wild, meeting the two contradictions of life. During Methydotia, men are dressed as satyrs, women are dressed as Maenads and they represent scenes from the life of Dionysus and his followers.

On Saturday night, a torch parade is organized by the Film Club of Naxos and many volunteers. The parade starts in Kastro Naxos and continues to the beach of Naxos Town. All participants hold a lighted torch at hand, wear a white sheet and paint their faces with black and white dye. Rakomelo and wine are offered at the end of the parade in the central square of the town, where local music is also played with the traditional instruments of tsambounes and toumbakia. Visitors dance traditional dances and the entire atmosphere is cheerful, till the early hours.

On Sunday noon, the Carnival parade takes place in Naxos Town with many sarcastic floats, whose themes are inspired by actuality. This is the closing event of Naxos Carnival. In the meantime, many villages around the island revive their own costumes, such as the koudounati (men dressed in old clothes running through the village with a cowbell tied around their neck and teasing the villagers) in Aperanthos, kordelati in Agios Arsenios and few plays with a satirical theme.