Carnival has come and gone yet again on Thassos, and another fantastic day was had by all who came to participate at one of the many carnivals around the island. I had the pleasure to partake in the festivities that were jointly organised by Agios Georgios and Rachoni. These two mountain villages have lived harmoniously in co-existence with each other for a long, long time, and they've learned how to throw great parties together!
The day began with all of the figures eloquently positioned onto the relevant vehicles, the adults dressed up and the children wore brightly coloured clothes and face make up. The atmosphere was one of excitement and anticipation for what was to follow throughout the day...
The procession made it’s way from the old school of Agios Georgios, with bright colours and loud music. At the school grounds in Rachoni village, stalls with every kind of Greek food could be found, with the locals proudly setting up their offers of fare whilst the music stand practised for the arrival of the visitors. Slowly but surely the location became full with locals and people from around the island hoping to enjoy the show, which had been prepared many days, and in some cases, many weeks beforehand.
Eventually, as the skies over Thassos became unsettlingly overcast, the procession arrived. One by one they toured the school playground, circling the arena and proudly showing what they had painstakingly and tirelessly worked on in a hope that it had all been worthwhile.
I must say, they all did themselves proud and should be very pleased with their efforts as it was very enjoyable indeed, even though the rain began to drizzle down slightly by the end. After the procession the fun and enjoyment continued as the visitors partied, danced to the abundance of music and copious food and drink on offer.
The beauty of the day for me was that every person seemed to be happy and getting along with each other. Whether you knew the face staring at you or not, it didn’t matter, and to us as Englishmen trying to integrate with the local natives on Thassos, this was very positive and important, and a kind of acceptance. If the weather had been just a little kinder to us all, that would have been just the icing on the cake so to speak, but it definitely did not dampen anyone’s spirits. This is our first visit to our local carnival, and the first of many as it certainly will not be our last!