In the US there is Halloween, but in Greece there is Apokries and the roots of this tradition go deep in time.
Apokries means literally saying goodbye to meat “αποχη απο κρεας” apo-kreas.
Apokries is the Greek Carnival. In Greece the Carnival started in Ancient times, believed to be a worship to Dionysos, the God of Wine and Feast. It celebrated the end of winter and the coming of spring. In the Orthodox tradition Apokries is a three week preparation period before the 40 day Lent. Apokries means literally saying goodbye to meat – αποχή από κρέας – apo-kreas.
During that period people dress-up and go out in the streets. Athens, despite being a big city, preserves this tradition and every neighbourhood organises its own small feast. Our host Chris Tantalakis went from Psyrri to Plaka and from Metaksourgio to Kypseli in order to present you the local festivities. Apokries end in Ash Monday, when the Attica sky fills with paper kites! Watch the video and consider visiting Athens during Apokries!