Dave and Gerry's Alonissos Island Information Site

Carnival on Alonissos - 17th March 2013

Posters went up around Patitiri advertising Carnival about a week before the event.  Carnival is either written as Karnivali which is a sort of English or the Greek Apokries which literally means "away from meat" as the following day starts the fasting of lent and the time of abstinence from meat until Easter Sunday.  The posters suggested a start time of 1pm and we went down to the Dimos offices around this time because we hadn't been able to get the float finished in the Old Village due to high winds.  As usual there were few people about at this time but the sun was shining and the weather was really good for a change.

The crowds started to build and more floats started to arrive and we were given the usual 5 litre wine box and a bottle of scotch as a Carnival present.  As Carnival was on March 17th we took Saint Patrick's day as our theme and we all dressed in green, orange and white, with a load of props ordered by Di from the Internet.  Chester again did a brilliant job by turning a trailer into an Irish pub and here you can see some pictures of the fully decorated float.  There were around 20 of us dressed up for Saint Patrick's day around our float and there were another five floats and an old yiayia in a wheelchair!!

The aircraft on the top picture has the name Putanian Airways and there is a Greek saying for the "shit is about to hit the fan" which is "yinetai tis putanas to kangalo" which translates roughly to the "whores are at the railings".  This refers to the fact that when the ships came into Piraeus harbour there was a melee of seamen getting off the boats and fighting to get to the best prostitutes waiting behind the railings at the port.

As usual Panayioti (in his pilot outfit) was the voice of Carnival, aided and abetted by Kostas (in a very fetching toga) who made sure that everyone was in the right place at the right time.  Introductions were made for each of the groups with a float and Voula did the honours for us.  When it came to the Putanian Airways introduction, Panayioti went up onto the upstairs balcony of the Dimos offices and as each of the passengers on the plane were read out, each had a very overt sexual connotation which Panaytioti demonstated in graphic detail and had the whole Carnival crowd in fits of laughter.  The procession eventually headed off from the Dimos offices down Ikion Dolopon street to the port area and on the way we had some fish and tsipouro provided by Spiros and his wife from a table outside Ouzeri Kamaki.

As the crowd assembed on the harbour front there was a sudden commotion and the old yiayia was on the floor and apparently her waters had broken.  The doctors and nurses from the "Stinking Hospital" float were summoned and delivered a beautiful baby.  The father couldn't or wouldn't be found, so the Petros Vafinis the Mayor of Alonissos married her to one of the doctors in a shotgun service after the birth.  Not only was this a really clever spoof but as you will see from the pictures the old yiayia turned out to be an old baba, who played the part brilliantly.  After that the music started and we both joined in the Greek dancing on the harbour front, hence we have no pictures of the crowd circle dancing together.

The Carnival procession left the harbour front, when everyone was about danced out and headed up Pelasgon towards the church of Agia Paraskevi and then onwards to Votsi.  Instead of going to Votsi we headed down to the harbour front and most of us went into Taverna Flisvos for pizzas and salad before wending our ways home.  We reckon this was probably the best of the Carnivals we have taken part in since 2007 and the good humoured coming together of so many people on the island, to have fun and throw caution to the wind, again made it a wonderful experience.  Next year Carnival will be on 2nd March, as Easter Sunday is 20th April, which is the same day as Easter Sunday in the UK.


Carnival Poster

Saint Patrick's Day Theme With Us in Our Outfits

Greek Dancing Before the Carnival Left the Dimos Offices

Panayioti Introducing the Groups of People Associated with the Floats

Group Photo
Photo Courtesy of Jan Moon

Procession Heading off from the Dimos Offices

Crowd Assembling on the Harbour Front

Carnival Procession Heading Up Pelasgon Towards Votsi

Pizzas and Salad in Taverna Flisvos After the Carnival
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