Wed. May 29th, 2024

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NAXOS, Greece — Throngs of revelers throughout Greece attended end-of-Carnival celebrations this weekend for the primary time in 4 years.

The COVID-19 pandemic prevented the festivities held earlier than the start of Lent in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

On the island of Naxos, which hosts a number of the most colourful Carnival occasions in Greece, the variety of younger individuals participating soared this yr.

Most of the customs noticed are based mostly on rituals from celebrations of the altering seasons that predate antiquity, whereas others are more moderen.

Within the latter class is the Lampadiforia, or Torch Parade, held on Naxos that includes a procession of younger women and men holding torches on poles and with their faces painted to resemble black-and-white masks.

It first befell on the Saturday night time previous Lent in 1994, dreamed up by younger members of an area cinema membership. About 50 of them went out into the road that yr, screaming and dancing whereas holding torches, and startling different individuals as they paraded towards the Temple of Apollo.

This yr, properly over 2,000 torch bearers joined the parade, dancing to the beat of drums alongside the maze of the slim streets in previous city Naxos to a central sq. the place a scarecrow was burned.

In different elements of Naxos and mainland Greece, younger males sporting cow bells and carrying a phallic image — a standard function of historical rites celebrating spring — danced their technique to village squares on Sunday.

Different customs included younger males sporting people costumes and holding thick canes making their technique to neighboring villages, the place they invite native girls to bounce. The ladies, in flip, provide the boys native delicacies and wine.

In Orthodox Christian international locations, Lent, in addition to Easter, are celebrated at completely different occasions than in primarily Catholic international locations as a result of they use completely different calendars. Greek Orthodox Easter is often every week later than Catholic Easter.

Carnival celebrations additionally befell this weekend in Cyprus.

Nellas reported from Athens, Greece.

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