Information written by Eugenia Pappathanassiu. Images taken from Google Images.
In a nutshell, Apokries is Greece’s token Carnival which allows Greeks to indulge and celebrate before the 40 day fast (Sarakosti) leading up to Orthodox Easter. It takes place over three weeks: week one is ‘’Profoni’’ (the. Pre-announcement), week two is the ‘’Kreatini’’ (Meat Week) and week three is called ‘’Tyrofagou’’ (literally meaning, ‘’cheese-eater’’).
Apokries also follows various traditions set on certain days such as Tsiknopempti (literally ‘’smelly’’ or ‘’smokey’’ Thursday) where Greeks prepare plethoras of meat dishes and venture off to the bars dressed up in absolutely any type of attire that their hearts desire. The festival generally places emphasis on the attributes of masquerade and mystery to enable freedom of expression as well as personal amusement.
Hence, Apokries is a time in which pranks and merriment are in excess. On the last Sunday just before Kathari Deftera (Clean Monday), there are grand carnival extravaganzas with parties, concerts and parades that take place all over Greece and their finales usually involve the burning of an effigy – the Carnival King. They say that Apokries dates back to the Ancient Greek festivals celebrating Dionysos, the god of wine and fertility, and the ‘’rebirth’’ of flora at the end of winter. Either way, we’d sign up for it in a heartbeat.
Some attendees tend to adopt the frivolous clown/court jester style of the carnival, but since the festival prides itself on disguise and anonymity, people are encouraged transform into anyone/anything that entices them.
Have you always wanted to dress up as Jack Sparrow and run around cheering ‘’I’ve got a jar of dirt”? Now you can. Oh, you and your significant other feel like having a laugh and dressing up as ‘’bacon and eggs’’? This is the right time to do it! So you’ve just seen Gal Gadot play the role of Wonder Woman and now you’re like, totally obsessed? Yes, you can be her for a few hours until you start feeling lightheaded in that corset thing and your feet feel like they’re about to fall off from wearing those high heeled boots all night because Apokries = limitless style.