Ioannina Carnival Festival

« Tzamales »

Festival in Ioannina, Epirus

Crowd and dancing people around a fire during the Carnival custom of Tzamales in Ioannina.
photo: Jkravv / CC BY-SA 4.0

Distinctive local Carnival custom where numerous street parties are organized around big fires.

In most people’s minds the period of the Carnival is one of the most fun of the year. This has to do mainly with a large number of customs and happenings that take place during those days.

In neighborhoods and villages of the Ioannina region, there is a tradition to lit big fires on the streets on the last Sunday of the Carnival before the Clean Monday and the Shrove Tuesday. According to the custom, people gather around the fires dancing and singing with lyrics that make fun of others and include a lot of "dirty talk".

Many folklore clubs and unions organize events where apart from the traditional dances and songs, wine or tsipouro, as well as the typical Greek bean soup, are also included. At the end of the day, this custom ends up to an extended street party where everyone is welcome.

According to researchers the custom of Tzamales in Ioannina has its roots in ancient times and the festivals dedicated to Greek God Dionysos.

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Last Update: 21 Jul 2020
address Republic Square, Ioannina 452 21, Greece