Best time to go to Athens

Apokries or Carnival 2024

Before the long-lasting fast, Greeks feast on meat at a huge party that stretches over three weeks

Dates: February 25–March 17, 2024

Apokries or Carnival
Apokries or Carnival
Apokries or Carnival

Apokries literally means "saying goodbye to meat," and judging by a large amount of meat eaten during the three weeks preceding Lent, it is a very just farewell. Though the focus of celebration mostly includes meat dishes and the whole city of Athens smells of barbecue, the Carnival also features other foods and costume parades.

Traditions

The peak of the celebration falls on Smoke or Burnt Thursday (Tsiknopempti), which marks eleven days before the start of the fast. The final day of the Carnival is also the start of Lent, known as Clean Monday or Ash Monday. Meat is already off the menu, and instead, people consume a lot of olives and seafood—in particular, ​shrimp, octopus, taramasalata, and halvah are served.

What to expect

The streets of the city will be jam-packed with homemade food stalls, satirical floats, and people dressed up in festive attire. Be sure to taste authentic local meals and take part in dancing contests. Plus, you are more than welcome to bring your little ones along as there will be plenty of fun options for them, too: face painting, best-costume competitions, and clown entertainment.

More

The dates for Apokries vary from year to year, but generally, it occurs between February and early March. So, remember to book your housing in Athens in advance and have a terrific time there!

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin