Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Rethymno Carnival 2014

Rethymno celebrated its 100th carnival with great success as thankfully the rains held off, unlike in most of the rest of the country. For days before the big Sunday parade Rethymno was alive with colour and life as people started to wear carnival costumes. Wandering through the old town at night was to meet lots of garish wigs, painted faces and cross-dressing. On Sunday 2nd, the day of the big parade, the town seemed full to capacity. Car parking was limited and people were having to walk the whole length of the coast road from the east to get to the to the town centre. The police were out in force determined to make it a safe carnival for all. The parade started at 2pm and the music blared out from speakers lining the route. There were 46 groups taking part with some groups having over 600 members. Many thousands took part, showing a huge amount of energy. Dancing, shouting and singing. The bars were overflowing, the streets buzzing and the tavernas full. As the word carnival means 'putting the meat away' I could see everyone doing just that. The smell of souvlakia roasting on coals was everywhere. The next day, Monday, is Clean Monday, and although not many people continue to observe 40 days of fasting, there are quite a few Greeks who will not eat meat for the whole period. Sunday is their last day to gorge themselves.

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