Throngs of revelers throughout Greece attended end-of-Carnival celebrations this weekend for the primary time in 4 years.

The COVID-19 pandemic prevented the festivities held earlier than the start of Lent in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

On the island of Naxos, which hosts among the most colourful Carnival occasions in Greece, the variety of younger folks collaborating soared this yr.

Lots of the customs noticed are primarily based on rituals from celebrations of the altering seasons that predate antiquity, whereas others are newer.

Within the latter class is the Lampadiforia, or Torch Parade, held on Naxos that incorporates a procession of younger women and men holding torches on poles and with their faces painted to resemble black-and-white masks.

It first passed off on the Saturday night time previous Lent in 1994, dreamed up by younger members of an area cinema membership. About 50 of them went out into the road that yr, screaming and dancing whereas holding torches, and startling different folks as they paraded towards the Temple of Apollo.

This yr, nicely over 2,000 torch bearers joined the parade, dancing to the beat of drums alongside the maze of the slender streets in previous city Naxos to a central sq. the place a scarecrow was burned.

In different components of Naxos and mainland Greece, younger males carrying cow bells and carrying a phallic image — a standard characteristic of historical rites celebrating spring — danced their strategy to village squares on Sunday.

Different customs included younger males carrying folks costumes and holding thick canes making their strategy to neighboring villages, the place they invite native ladies to bop. The ladies, in flip, provide the boys native delicacies and wine.

In Orthodox Christian international locations, Lent, in addition to Easter, are celebrated at totally different occasions than in primarily Catholic international locations as a result of they use totally different calendars. Greek Orthodox Easter is normally per week later than Catholic Easter.

Carnival celebrations additionally passed off this weekend in Cyprus.


Nellas reported from Athens, Greece.

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