Carnival in Patras

Carnival in Patras

The Carnival in Patras is the greatest of its kind in Greece and one of the biggest in Europe. It counts more than 180 years of history. All the events begin on the 17th of January and last up to Clean Monday. Last Sunday’s great parade, famous all around the world, isn’t the only event that takes place in Carnival. Masquerades, Parades(with more than 40.000 participants each year), a Treasure Hunting Game, Children’s Carnival(with about 12.000 kids annually), Street Theatre acts, Exhibitions, Cinematic Features and the National Festival of Amateur Satire Theatre, are some of the various events that will also take place these days. 

Thus, Festival’s peak comes on Carnival’s last weekend, with crew’s Saturday night parade, crews and floats great parade on Sunday and Carnival’s King ceremonial burn down at Patra’s Port St. Nicholas jetty as a showdown.

All the above lead us to the conclusion that, carnivals contestants, Patras citizens, friends and visitors, participants of all ages, to festival’s formal or informal events such as ball dances, masquerades and home, clubs or restaurants celebrations, constitute Carnival’s vital energy, with youth giving this celebration the trilling aura which designates it.

To this day, Patra’s municipality is exclusively in charge of organizing the event throughout Patras Carnival Welfare Corporation which watches over carnival’s workshop as well. The only manufacturing site in Greece, where beautiful ornaments, festive constructions and King Carnival and his escorts beautiful floats are created.

Now its interesting to see what Carnival means. Beofre you see the etymologies please note that Carnival is the festive season which occurs immediately before Lent (th eperiod 40 days to Easter)There are three different arguments based on etmological analysis regarding the origin of the name Carnival. 

From carne levare

In this case the name comes from the Italian carne levare meaning “to remove meat”, since meat is prohibited during Lent.

From carne vale

According to this etymological analysis the word comes from the late Latin expression carne vale, which means “farewell to meat”, meaning that those were the last days when one could eat meat before the fasting of Lent. 

From carrus navalis

Some scholars argue for the origin from the Roman name for the festival of the Navigium Isidis (ship of Isis), where the image of Isis was carried to the sea-shore to bless the start of the sailing season.The festival consisted of a parade of masks following an adorned wooden boat, that would reflect the floats of modern Carnivals. Modern Carnival shares resemblances with the Navigium IsidisSource: Patras Carnival Wikipedia

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