PROGRAMME HIGHLIGHTS: APOKRIES AND CARNIVAL IN ATHENS 2019

Where: Various locations around Athens
When: 25 February – 11 March 2019
Why Go: A vibrant festival of food, music & celebration

In the lead up to Greek Orthodox Easter, the national carnival known as Apokries (translates to “a leave from meat”) is celebrated in Athens over two weeks. It comes before the period of lent commences and where Greeks feast on meat, alongside street parties filled with music, dance, theatre and masquerades.

The peak days of the festival falls on “Tsiknopempti” or Smoke Thursday, which marks ten days before the start of fasting. The final day of the carnival is the start of lent, known as Clean Monday or Ash Monday and this is a national holiday in Greece. Meat will be off the menu and instead, locals devour plenty of olives and barbecued seafood (without blood) such as ​shrimp and octopus. Taramosalata and halvah are also popular over these days.

Video: Courtesy of GreekTV.com

PROGRAMME HIGHLIGHTS: APOKRIES AND CARNIVAL IN ATHENS 2019

All events are free unless otherwise specified

 

Monday 25 February 12pm (midday) | Thissio Metro Station

Melodies with the Athens Municipal Philharmonic Orchestra.

 

Tuesday 26 February 8:30pm | Olympia Theatre

Philharmonic Orchestra and the Athens Municipality Choir perform Athenian carnival songs.

*Free entry (two tickets per person). Tickets distributed from 11:00am – 5:00pm at the theatre venue on a first come, first served basis.

 

Wednesday 27 February 12pm (midday) | Kydathineon Street, Plaka

Melodies with the Athens Municipal Philharmonic Orchestra.

apokries carnival Athens Souvlaki

Meat on the charcoal is a feature of the Apokries Carnival before lent starts on Clean Monday. Photo: Why Athens

Thursday 28 February | “TSIKNOPEMPTI” SMOKE THURSDAY | Various Parades

1:00pm at Syntagma Square

Parade with traditional costumes and percussion. Walking route: Syntagma Square, Ermou St (pedestrianised walkway), Monastiraki Square and Plaka.

1:00pm at Monastiraki Square

Carnival concert with Athens Hellenic Music Workshop.

1:00pm at Asomaton Square (Thissio)

Carnival concert with Athens Hellenic Music Workshop.

8:00pm – midnight at the Acropolis Museum

The Acropolis Museum’s restaurant will be open with live music and a rich buffet of delicious appetisers, fresh salads, meats and home-made sweets. Telephone reservations essential: T. +30 210 9000 915.

Apokries Carnival Athens Greek Dancing

Saturday 2 March

11:00am at Plateia Agiou Pavlou (St Paul’s Square) Metaxourgeio

Carnival party with samba rhythms, animators, clowns, face painting and carnival costume contest. The Athenian Philharmonic Orchestra participates.

1:00pm at Syntagma Square

Songs from Skyros and carnival events from Epirus with the Greek Dance Association. Walking route: Syntagma Square, Ermou St (pedestrianised walkway) and Monastiraki Square.

3:00pm in Plaka

A walk with songs with various adult choirs.

4:00pm at Geor. Olimpiou 8, Koukaki (pedestrianised area)

A carnival celebration with clowns, stilts, music and many more surprises. The Athenian Philharmonic Orchestra participates. In cooperation with the local shopkeepers.

4:00pm at Plateia Klafthmonos (central Athens)

Traditional Greek dancing.

7:00pm at Melina Mercuri Museum & Cultural Centre | 66 Iraklidon St, Athens

Traditional carnival feast with dancing and customs from all over Greece.

apokries carnival Athens

Apokries Carnival in Athens. Photo: courtesy of City of Athens/Myrto Koutoulia

 

Sunday 3 March

12:00pm (midday) at Melina Mercuri Museum & Cultural Centre | 66 Iraklidon St, Athens

Frangrance of lemons, carrots and laterns. A rich tribute to the carnival of old Athens. Canteens, Athenian song and dance.

12:30pm at St Thomas Square, Goudi

A Carnival trip around Greece. Traditional dancing and carnival customs

1:00pm at Dionysiou Areopagitou pedestrianised walkway

Concert with the band “Valletta Str Project”  – pop, rock and disco music

1:00pm at Varnava Square, Pagrati

Traditional carnival parade. Walking route: Varnava Square, Melina Mercouri Square, Monastiraki Square and Avdi Square

6:00pm at Centre for Popular Craft & Tradition | 6 Aggelikis Chatzimichali Athens

Traditional Greek dancing

7:00pm at Acropolis metro station

Parade of carnival costumes with Choir music. Walking route: Acropolis metro, Sellei St, Vyronos St, Agia Aikaterini Square, Philomousou Square, Kidathineon St, Andrianoupoleos St, Tripodon St, Flessas St, Lisiou St, Adrianou St and Monastiraki Square

Apokries Carnival Athens Juggler

Monday 4 March 12:00pm (midday) | entrance to Acropolis Museum

Melodies with the Athens Municipal Philharmonic Orchestra

 

Thursday 7 March

12:00pm (midday) at Ermou St, pedestrianised area outside Kapnikarea Church

Music by the Athens Municipal Philharmonic Orchestra

8:30pm at the Olympia Theatre

“Scent of a Woman, Tango Balle Maske Party”. A carnival milonga for tango lovers.

General admission: € 5 Tickets at the door or online at viva.gr.

 

Saturday 9 March

1:00pm at Kolonaki Square

Concert of Greek songs

1:00pm at Acropolis metro station

Parade with music. Walking route: Acropolis metro, Sellei St, Vyronos St, Agia Aikaterini Square, Philomousou Square, Kidathineon St, Andrianoupoleos St, Tripodon St, Flessas St, Lisiou St, Adrianou St, Monastiraki Square Hadrians Arch, Monastiraki Square, Psirri

apokries carnival Athens

Apokries Carnival at the Zappeion in Athens. Photo: City of Athens

Sunday 10 March 11:00am – 3:00pm | Zappeion, National Gardens

A carnival day for children and families.

Music, dancing, jugglers, face painting, balloons and more

 

Monday 11 March at 11:00am | CLEAN MONDAY (national public holiday) | Philopappou Hill

Traditional eating for the first day of lent, with a free concert and family activities. Picnic style day.

 

Find more events on in Athens.

Information from Why Athens.

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