CULTURE

‘One Thousand and One Myths’ in festive Patras

The focal point of Carnival events in modern times has always been the city of Patras. This year, from tomorrow to Sunday, February 22, the Peloponnesian city’s folks will be donning their weirdest and most imaginative costumes, mounting their floats and parading down the streets of the city center in an extravaganza of revelry. The theme appointed to this year’s parade is «One Thousand and One Myths,» giving the entire affair a distinct Eastern feel, and participants in the parade include school groups, social and cultural associations, groups of individuals and thousands of locals and tourists who flock to the city from around Greece and abroad to enjoy the spontaneity that is attached to Carnival season One standard event in the big Patras Carnival is the bourbouli, a black-and-white domino party where, hidden behind masks, men and women of all ages get together and dance the night away (tonight and every night at 9 p.m. at the Apollon Theater). Bourboulia, originally the name of a boiled meat dish, was coined by theater man Andreas Loverdos in the interwar years to describe spontaneous afternoon balls that were held in homes for no apparent reason. In the meantime, throughout the city a variety of local theater and dance groups will staging shows either on the street or at the Apollon Theater. Another highlight is a concert and dance presentation by the New York Salsa at Trion Iroon Square on the evening of Saturday, February 21. Another tradition that is being kept is the Children’s Carnival, an annual event that dates back to the 18th century and was begun by the more prosperous families of Patras. This year the Children’s Carnival will be held on both weekends (this and the next) at the children’s playground of Psila Alonia and events include organized games, workshops, music, dancing and painting set in the impressive surroundings of a hall of mirrors. At the same time, the city will be holding the Children’s Song Competition throughout the Carnival period. The bash will end with a splash on February 22, with Dionysian celebrations and a huge fireworks display on the Aghios Nikolaos Quay, while the day after, children can go and fly their Clean Monday kites at the radar installations, and adults, who may feel a bit green from all the merriment, can recover at the Coco Discotheque’s Hangover Party. Information on tel 2610.270/227.157 or visit www.patrastoday.gr.