Carnival fun all over Athens

For most people, Carnival in Greece is associated with cities such as Patras and Xanthi. Over the last few decades, however, the capital has made a number of efforts to establish its very own Carnival tradition. Municipalities such as those of Athens, Aghios Ioannis Rendi and Moschato are paving the way by offering a plethora of joyful and original events. Other municipalities are also joining in the fun by organizing Carnival celebrations, concerts, theater performances and parades, thus creating dozens of smaller, peripheral fun zones. For those staying in Attica, there’s plenty of choice: concerts ranging from rebetika and popular Greek music to rock and ethnic, traditional as well as foreign dance troupes, treasure hunts, colorful parades, magicians and more promise to satisfy both young and old. Athens Following last night’s «Tsiknopempti» festivities, today is dedicated to music: Old Athens ballads will be sung in Plaka; rebetika and traditional songs will be enjoyed in Aghios Andreas Square, while rock band D. Poulikakos and Andiprosopi will offer a concert at Fokionos Negri Square in Kypseli. Valentine’s Day tomorrow is the ideal day for all kinds of romantic music: Rising star Michalis Hadziyiannis performs at central Athens’s Kotzia Square while a saxophone quartet takes the stage in Syntagma. In Thiseion, the Tyrnavos Gaitanakia will wander Ermou Street with their traditional Greek instruments. On Sunday, it’s time for rebetika and Greek popular songs in Monastiraki, while a children’s fancy dress fiesta will take place at the Technopolis arts complex. The last three days of the Athenian Carnival kick off with popular Greek singer Nikos Portokaloglou performing in Kotzia Square, a concert in Plaka and traditional Greek songs at Aghios Thomas Square (February 20). On February 21, there will be Cuban salsa and Neapolitan tarantellas in Kotzia Square, followed by a fancy masquerade contest. Meanwhile, there will be Gypsy violin tunes in Syntagma, Brazilian percussion in Chremonidou Square and rebetika in Sotiri Petroula Square, ending with an ethnic and jazz show featuring acrobatics in Avdis Square. Events culminate on Sunday, February 22, in the Roman Agora, with a variety show featuring old Carnival acts under the musical direction of Loukianos Kilaidonis. Moschato Moschato has by now formed its own Carnival identity after hosting Carnival events for 18 years. This year’s celebrations kicked off on January 30 and will end on Sunday. The two-week program included children’s dances, ballet, samba, concerts by well-known singers and bands, tributes and a treasure hunt. Events take place not only with the participation of the people of Moschato, but also with groups that have come from all over Greece, as well as representatives of foreign communities in Athens. Among the highlights of this week’s festivities are tonight’s exotic dances from India and Pakistan. The peak of the Carnival festivities will be the two spectacular parades, to be held tomorrow and Sunday, with the participation of 5,000 Carnival-goers. Tomorrow’s parade will start at 9.30 p.m. and Sunday’s at 2.30 p.m.; they will both march through the streets of Moschato. It should be noted that this year’s program includes more events than any previous year, showing that the residents of Moschato are determined to maintain the honor of hosting the largest and funniest of the Carnival celebrations in the capital. Aghios Ioannis Rendi The Carnival festivities organized for the 10th consecutive year by the Aghios Ioannis Rendi area and which end on Sunday, February 22, include lots of fun activities. The highlights are the concerts: Giorgos Tsalikis will perform on Sunday and Kaiti Garbi the following Sunday. Tomorrow, kids can enjoy magician’s tricks, toys and presents in the main square, while various societies and the high schools of the area will host parties. The festivities will end with two parades: an evening parade on Saturday, starting at 7 p.m. and a morning one on Sunday, starting at noon. Zografou The Municipality of Zografou is preparing for its Carnival parade, which will take place with the participation of schools, local societies and residents from neighboring regions on Sunday. The parade will start at 3 p.m. at Olaf Palme Street and will end up, an hour later, in Alexandri Square. Once at the square, Carnival-goers will be able to dance and sing along with Giorgos Kotsinis’s five-member folk orchestra and watch a performance of Latin dances by the municipality’s Cultural Center. Other municipalities Maroussi: Maroussi’s 13th Carnival festivities will end on Sunday. Tonight, a special event will be held at the A. Gardelis art gallery for disabled people, while tomorrow the same venue will host kids’ activities, which will include theater games and Latin music. A parade will start off from the center of Maroussi on Sunday and in the evening a music party, to end with fireworks, will take place in Iroon Square. Aghios Dimitrios: Tomorrow, kids will be able to enjoy a treasure hunt which will start outside Aghios Dimitrios Town Hall and Sunday’s Carnival parade will start at 3 p.m. and will go as far as Eleftherios Venizelos Park. Aegaleo: Aegaleo has prepared a rich program of festivities, starting tomorrow with kids’s entertainment and a performance at the cultural center. A street performance will be held on Sunday afternoon at Estavromenos Square, while the following Sunday, the program will end with a concert and a spectacular parade with stilt-walkers, drums and fireworks. Nikaia: Kids will have a field day tomorrow, with clowns, music and presents at the Halkidona, Krinis and Pedikis Stegis squares and a big children’s party on Sunday at the Michaniki Kalliergia. On Wednesday, February 18, the Nikolaidis Stadium will host a competition for best kite. The program will end the following Sunday with a fancy-dress party for adults. Palaio Faliron: Festivities in Palaio Faliron are all dedicated to children: Clowns, magicians, jugglers, music and many surprises await kids at Filikis Eterias Square tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and in Davari Square Sunday at the same time. The fun will be repeated next Sunday at the Pikrodafni School (35 Terpsitheas). Keratsini: Tonight, Keratsini youngsters will hold a big Carnival party in Kypros Square, while tomorrow a Carnival parade and a concert will be held at the same venue. Dafni: Dafni’s big event will take place on Sunday in Dimarcheio Square and include theater games, dances, festive music, lots of games, as well as educational activities like mask-making and kite-making workshops. Events start at 10.30 p.m.