For many years now, the Xanthi Carnival has become a reference point for the entire Northern Greece and not only, as it is the second largest in the country after Patra’s carnival. It has now become a given fact that if someone wants to have a good time and enjoy the Carnival season, then it is almost… necessary to visit the city of Xanthi. Every year, tens of thousands of students and visitors from all over the country arrive at the city to spend a weekend full of fun, dancing and partying. At the same time, of course, it is also a great opportunity for visitors to explore and admire the beauties of this picturesque place.
The carnival is the perfect occasion to visit the magnificent old town with its stone-built alleys and mansions, taste the delicious local cuisine and of course explore the beautiful landscapes in the surrounding area. In fact, the popular Xanthi Carnival counts 53 years of life with participants each year reaching the number of 100,000. This year, the grand parade will take place on March 1, and as every year, a huge number of people is expected to attend.
Looking back, Xanthi’s carnival, one of the most famous, began as a revival of popular carnival customs in 1966 and is included in Thracian folklore festivities with many local events, now welcoming visitors with music, dance and various cultural events. Also, for the nightlife lovers, all the bars in the city are synchronized to the carnival rhythms and offer moments of frantic fun until the early hours of the morning.
Highlights of the Xanthi Carnival are the parade of traditional clubs, the children’s parade of schools and of course the central parade to be held this year on March 1st.
Xanthi welcomes people with endless fun, dancing and singing. Dozens of chariots, thousands of carnivalists, people of all ages flock to the streets of the city in a frantic pace, in a feast of colors, sounds and fun. Of course, all of this happens with the appropriate music appropriate to the occasion.
The parade starts at the entrance of the city, passes through the main square and ends at the site of the Xanthi Athletic Club, where the clubs hang out. There, a frantic feast begins, involving not only the carnivalists but also the locals with music, food and endless dance.
Every year there is the so-called carnival queen, who is invited and is usually a famous TV lady.
The burning of “Jaros”
When the great carnival parade comes to an end, the evening of the same day revives the well-known Xanthi custom, “the burning of Jaros”, on the river Kosynthos. According to locals, “Jaros” was a man-made dummy mounted on a pile of trees. On the last Sunday of Carnival, he was in the center of an alley, exorcising the evil. According to the local tradition, in this way they managed to have no fleas during the summer. After the “burning of Jaros”, the feast follows until the early hours of the morning.
This custom was brought by the refugees from Samakow in Eastern Thrace and is revived every year by the inhabitants of the homonymous settlement, which is located near the bridge over the river Kosynthos.
Basically, it is a magnificent spectacle that marks the end of the carnival. Crowds of people, both locals and visitors alike, watch the end of Thracian Folk Holidays under the glow of a spectacular fireworks show.
Rent your car from Alpha Drive Rent a Car and plan a trip to Xanthi to live the local carnival experience!