Kefalonian Roots      Genealogical Services for Kefalonia, Greece




CARNIVAL    Season

Lixouri,  Kefalonia



For more than 100 years, the residents of Lixouri, Kefalonia have had a Carnival on the last day before Lent.  The themes have always been of satiric character, on political, religious, economic, social, cultural and historic events of Kefalonia, Greece and the world.  These animated "essays" were presented by social groups and organizations; each using floats, masquerades, dance and satiric sketches as their medium of expression.  People and organizations from all areas of Kefalonia, and Greece, have come to Lixouri to participate, experience and revel in the grand parade and satiric theater in the town square.

Carnival Season begins on Τσίκνο Πέμπτη (Chikno Pempti),  "Burnt Thursday", eleven days before the Sunday of Apokreas  (Απόκρεας), which means "away from meat", the last day before Lent.  Τσίκνο is derived from the word τσικνίζω, meaning to slightly burn food; having a burnt smell.  This traditional name for the day developed from old tales, stating that many women supposedly burned the dinner on this particular Thursday, because they were concentrating more on the merriment, than on the cooking.  On the evening of Τσίκνο Πέμπτη, the town council sets up charcoal grills in the town square and bar-be-cues suvlakia, which is served with bread and wine.  Naturally, the suvlakia are not cooked to the "carbon state", and everyone enjoys the food and the traditional songs, of Τσίκνο Πέμπτη and Kefalonia, which are sung by the town choir.

During the following 10 days, many parties are organized by bars, cafeterias and tavernas.  Entertainment for children and dances for adults are plentiful, and everyone passes the week and a half in grand festivity.  On the Sunday afternoon after Τσίκνο Πέμπτη, the "Karnavalos" enters Lixouri, and a special Carnival Parade, dancing and entertainment are organized for small children.

On Saturday evening, the night before Apokreas, the town organizes a parade of masqueraders.  The town square is filled with people and families eager to begin the last of the merriment before Lent.  Following the parade, there are many dinner dances held in the tavernas of Paliki, and the revelry continues until sunrise.

At 3:00 pm on the Sunday of Apokreas, the long awaited Grand Parade begins in the town square.  Each participating organization or individual presents his theme with grand showmanship to the judges.  This show is enhanced by the colorful floats, bright costumes and dramatic dancing, thus mesmerizing the revelers for two and a half hours. 

After the Grand Parade, satiric sketches, on any topic imaginable, are presented in the middle of the town square, moving the spectators to hysterical laughter.  When the sketches are over, the general entertainment begins with dancing and singing.  The merriment continues until approximately 7:30pm, at which time the "Karnavalos" is taken to the port and burned; signifying the end of the pre-Lenten merriment.

A special tradition, carried out on the day of Apokreas,  is the making of the Lenten Lady.   The tradition of the Lenten Lady, her significance and how she is constructed, can be found on the site at: Home Page / Kefalonia / Fading  Traditions of Kefalonian Life / the Table of Contents, click  The Lenten Lady.

On Monday morning a list of the winners of the Carnival Awards is posted at the town hall.  Awards are in the following categories: 

Floats: 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize;     Masqueraders: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize;     Satire and Laughter one prize.

At noon, on  Monday ~  Καθαρή Δευτέρα ~ the First Day of Lent in the Greek Orthodox Church the day after Apokreas - ~  the inhabitants of Kefalonia gather in groups  on beaches, hillsides and in villages to fly kites and feast on Lenten foods.  Many people take their own food and go on a picnic; others go to a village, where all are welcome, to feast on a buffet of Lenten foods.  As the feast continues, musicians play and the people dance happily until evening.





The following album features some of the floats, masqueraders and events of the Lixouri Carnival since 1994.  Perhaps one day you will visit Lixouri, at the time of Carnival, and revel in the merriment!  An invitation is always open to you!




                                             The town choir                         Evening Tour of Square



Saturday night Masqueraders Parade







Masqueraders  ~  Grand Parade


                                             Drum Major                     "Exiled King" visits  Lixouri



Carnival  1994


                                          "Wedding Guests"         "Here come the Bride and Groom"

Congratulations ~ Να Ζήσετε



Carnival   1995


The Old Taverna  ~  Το Παλιό Ταβέρνα  ~  Στην Υειά Σας!


Carnival  1996

Everybody Dance Now


Carnival  1997



Celebrations in the Village  ~  Γλέντη στο Χωριό


Carnival  1998


The Children's Playground   ~  Παιδική Χαρά


Carnival  1999

Drs. from Holou University  -  small village outside Lixouri



Carnival 2000


Mr. Clinton, "President of the World"  ~  Ο "Πλανητάρχης"



Carnival 2002


The Village Wedding and guests


Carnival 2003


In "Christian Brotherhood", the "Pope" visits Lixouri

There is much Italian influence in the Kefalonian culture



Carnival  2006


Female soldiers finally catch  ΒΑΒΥΛΗΣ



Carnival 2007


           The "King and Queen"                  The "King's Mom"       The "King" greets local dignitaries


The "Exiled King" of Greece returns to greet people

and auction off his "prized possessions".

A man, goes nowhere, without his "Mom"!



Entertainment after the Grand Parade

High School Students dancing the traditional Kantrilies   (Καντρίλια- Καδρίλια)

From the Italian Quadriglia


Καθαρή Δευτέρα  ~  First Day of Lent


                          Lenten Foods                    Villagers at buffet                    Line Dancing

 First Day of Lent in the village ~ Καθαρή  Δευτέρα στο χωριό   


Kefalonians have lots and lots of KEFFY!!!

Οι Κεφαλονίτες έχουν πάρα πολύ Κέφι!!!




Carnival  Album  2008




February  28th

Chikno Pempti  ~  Τσίκνο Πέμπτη



Announcing, throughout Lixouri, of   "The Beginning of Carnival"




The Second Night of Carnival




Wedding Party  ~  ΓΑΜΙΛΙΟ  ΠΑΡΤΙ



The Wedding Party: Coachman, Bride, Groom and Matron of Honor



March 2nd

Fourth Day of Carnival


The Children's Parade




The Sunday Parade for the small children.  Awards are given for the best dressed masqueraders and for the best presentation of a theme.




March  7th

Ninth Day of Carnival

The Paliki Male Choir



Members of the Paliki Male Choir tour the Town Square, tavernas, and cafeterias singing Kefalonian carnival songs.  The workers of the national electric company were on strike, so there were no lights in the town at the time of the singing.  It was more traditional, and much more romantic this way!!!!!




Saturday Night Masquerade Parade






Parade on the main streets of Lixouri


Early hours of sunday


Dancing and singing in the tavernas until the early hours of Sunday


March  9th

11th  Day of carnival

sunday grand carnival parade




Judges of the parade, people lining the streets, Lixouri band (2) presentation by the Beautiful Youth Carnival Entertainment Company, and Katerelos, Cafe Over Dose Group. There were 21 entries  of floats and masqueraders in the parade. Everyone worked very hard and presented a marvelous show for all.



The satiric sketch in the town square, before the musical entertainment.

After the entertainment it began to rain. 


march 10th

Kathara  defthera

On Kathara Defthera there are many celebrations, named KOULOUMA, of the first day of Lent all over the island.  The following is a celebration at Agia Efthimia in the municipality of Pylaro.



People, food, people of all ages participating and dancing



Serbian Dance Group, juggler with grandfather and grandson from Pylaro, and juggler with fire.  The entertainment and the food were marvelous, unfortunately it began to rain and the show could not be completed. However, the people of Pylaro presented a marvelous Koulouma and everyone enjoyed the food and the show!  

Until next year,   Health and Happiness to Everyone.

Kefalonian Roots wishes everyone a meaningful Lenten Season.



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