Disclaimer: Due to COVID-19 concerns, many events might be canceled, postponed, or changed into limited versions, sometimes at very short notice. Please check with event organizers directly for the latest updates (view the "External Resources" section below).
Annually between late January and early March, the Rethymnon town holds a carnival that lasts for almost a month. Every year the theme of the event is different. The carnival begins in a very traditional way: a town crier tells people where the festival will take place. The carnival is accompanied by lots of parties such as "the dance of the teams" and "treasure hunt" activities, as well as traditional dances, folk music, concerts with a Cretan chorus and orchestra, challenging performances, children workshops, parades, and much more.
Besides, you will be able to enjoy traditional Cretan alcohol—"tsikoudiá," which is also known as "Raki." Don't miss a four-hour serenade "Kantáda"—carnival music groups walk along the streets and sing, filling the town with marvellous melodies. One more great activity is a bike ride where all fans of the sport can take part.
Although the carnival lasts for three weeks, the most important events take place in the last days. At the end of the carnival, there is a glorious night parade, the Grand Parade, and the burning of King Carnival. On Ash Monday you will be able to discover different kinds of traditional Cretan costumes. Visiting the Carnival in Rethymnon will surely bring you lots of positive emotions, unforgettable experiences, and lots of sweet memories.