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
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
Floats: 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize;
Masqueraders: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize; Satire and
Laughter one prize.
At noon, on Monday
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!
ΠΕΜΠΤΗ ~ CHIKNO PEMPTI
The town choir
Evening Tour of Square
"Exiled King" visits Lixouri
"Here come the Bride and Groom"
The Old Taverna ~
Το Παλιό Ταβέρνα ~
Στην Υειά Σας!
Everybody Dance Now
Celebrations in the Village ~
Γλέντη στο Χωριό
The Children's Playground ~
Drs. from Holou University -
small village outside Lixouri
Mr. Clinton, "President of the World"
~ Ο "Πλανητάρχης"
The Village Wedding and guests
In "Christian Brotherhood", the "Pope" visits Lixouri
There is much Italian influence in the Kefalonian
Female soldiers finally catch
The "King and Queen"
The "King's Mom" The "King" greets local
"Exiled King" of Greece returns to greet people
and auction off his "prized
A man, goes
nowhere, without his "Mom"!
Entertainment after the
High School Students dancing the traditional Kantrilies
From the Italian Quadriglia
First Day of Lent
Villagers at buffet
First Day of Lent in the
village ~ Καθαρή Δευτέρα στο χωριό
Kefalonians have lots and lots of KEFFY!!!
Οι Κεφαλονίτες έχουν πάρα πολύ
USHERING IN THE CARNIVAL SEASON
Chikno Pempti ~
Lixouri, of "The
Beginning of Carnival"
The Second Night of
tHE wEDDING pARTY
NIGHT BEFORE THE SHOWING OF THE CINEMA
The Wedding Party: Coachman, Bride, Groom and Matron
Fourth Day of
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
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!!!!!
Night Masquerade Parade
Parade on the main streets of
Dancing and singing in the
tavernas until the early hours of Sunday
Day of carnival
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
After the entertainment it began to rain.
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
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.