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Corfiot Carnival - The famous Venetians Carnival of Corfu

Here in Corfu over the years, the celebrations gained a strong Venetian influence that makes today’s Corfu carnival completely different from those in other parts of Greece, it also demonstrates the innate zaniness of the Corfiots and shows their creativity.

Costumes were worn, and the floats, are influenced by medieval pageantry and exude an aristocratic Venetian “air”.

The Carnival of Corfu, Greece: The famous Carnival of Corfu has its roots in the Middle Ages when the Venetians conquerors of the island brought this custom back from their homeland. Today, the Carnival of Corfu resembles a lot to the Carnival of Venice and includes many funny happenings. It usually takes place at the end of February or early March with much popularity.

The most famous happening of the Carnival is the Great Parade that takes place in Liston and Spianada square. People dressed in strange customs join groups and spread to the entire island a spirit of festivity. The parade is accompanied by local music and dancing.

At the end of the parade, there follows the burning of the King Carnival, which is said to carry the sins of the locals. The King Carnival is burnt in a bonfire among great partying and dancing.

An interesting custom associated with the Carnival is the enactment of the Corfiot Petegoletsia, which means the Gossip. This is a form of a street theater, where actors sit in windows overlooking the alley of the Old Town and exchange gossip, in the local dialect. These gossips might refer to political authorities or local scandals.

*Corfiot Petegoletsia,

Another carnival custom in the countryside of Corfu is the Wedding. All men gather in one house to dress up the groom, while the women gather in another to dress up the bride. In the event, a bride is also a man, mostly one with a huge mustache.

A demon, played by another villager, tries his best to break up the wedding, while the gathered villagers hurl obscenities at each other throughout the ceremony, constantly teasing each other. These are just a part of the excitement and fun that is generally associated with the Corfiot Carnival.

Τhe Carnival in the villages of Corfu

As in Corfu Town so in the villages- the events of the Carnival are the same, plus a few villages have maintained some very interesting and entertaining traditions.

The custom of the Vlachs

In the traditional village of Argirades, Vlachs are the lords of the carnival.

There are only two of them and they dance one leading the procession and the other at the rear, the dance they do is an ancient Greek ritual dance.

They hold in their hands the blossom of the first Spring flowers and it seems that their mission is to force all visitors to smell the flowers.

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