October 29th, 2013

Greek Halloween

Happy Halloween pumpkin

 

In honor of the ghoulish holiday coming up, we are harking back to our founders, Euthymios and Yiannoula Demakes from Greece, to share some facts about how the Greeks celebrate their version of Halloween.

 

To be precise, the Greeks do not actually celebrate “Halloween” in the strict sense of the word. Instead, they celebrate Apokries. This holiday is all about dressing up in costumes and having fun like Halloween, only it is celebrated in February before Lent as part of the Greek Orthodox tradition.

patras carnival1

Colorful costume parade at the end of Apokries

 

Throughout the festival, the streets are filled with adults and children alike dressed in costumes making anonymous house calls to friends. Hosts offer sweets to the children and whiskey or other local brews to the adults. These treats are to entice visitors to remove their disguise and reveal their identities.

 

Apokries is a three-week celebration that culminates in the Grand Carnival Parades before the restrictions of Lent begin. The second week, “Kreatini” is the “meat week.” Meat is eaten every day of this week including traditional fasting days.

 

Halvas is a Lenten sweet, especially the type made with tahini and sold in cylindrical or rectangular form.

Halvas is a Lenten sweet, especially the type made with tahini and sold in cylindrical or rectangular form.

 

 

While there are still several months to wait until the real Greek Halloween, we wanted to share a little bit about our history in the midst of the Trick or Treat fun this week.

 

sources:

 

http://www.livingincrete.net/apokries.html

http://carolinacrete.hubpages.com/hub/Halloween-in-Greece

http://www.explorecrete.com/traditions/apokries-carnival.htm

 

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