See the streets of Corfu come to life with masked performers, parades, feasts and fireworks at the annual Corfu Carnival.
Are you the type of person that counts down to Halloween every year because you can't wait to bust out your favourite costume? Or maybe you beg your mates to make their birthday parties fancy dress so you can invest in another Marvel superhero costume ? Sounds like you'd fit right in at the Corfu Carnival.
If you’re looking for an event that lets you experience not one but two countries in one, then head to the Corfu Carnival to let loose with the Greeks and party like the Italians. How, we hear you ask? Approximately 450 years ago the Venetians arrived on the Greek island of Corfu bringing with them the customs that have since inspired the event. Over the years Greek customs have been added to the carnival, turning it into the island’s biggest annual party - think grand ball gowns, elaborate head dresses, big wigs and fancy masks. Mingle with the dukes, duchesses, drummers and courtiers of the Baroque period this February.
The grand parade, which travels from San Roco square to Liston square, is central to the carnival and sees floats, revellers and performers take to the streets to wow huge crowds. Floats are planned and prepared up to a year in advance so expect to be impressed by the efforts of the locals who take the event very seriously. The parade brings a real sense of tomfoolery, satire and lunacy to the day, it is a carnival after all.
Other traditions include ‘Tsiknopepmpti’, a Greek tradition where everyone indulges in a feast of meat, wine and beer before beginning the Great Lent fasting period the following week. The ‘Petegoletsia’ also takes place on the Thursday of the week-long event and involves village ‘gossips’, (satirical, theatrical actors) stalking the streets with traditional Corfiot song and gossiping from the windows and balconies of the tall, narrow buildings of the town.
The event culminates with the burning of the King Carnival on the Sunday following another procession through the town. The bonfire is said to symbolise the sins of the locals, which are destroyed by the fire, ridding the community of evil. Throw in some fireworks and you have an event that rivals even the biggest of bonfire displays in the U.K. and gives old Guy Fawkes a run for his money. Book a nearby hotel so you can party into the early hours.
Let's hope you can fit that giant ball gown and big, curly wig in your suitcase to use for your next Halloween outfit.
*We do our very best to verify the dates of our events but please check with the official event provider before booking your flights. We would hate for you to be disappointed!