Patras Carnival

The Carnival of Greece

The Carnival of Patras is the largest carnival celebration in Greece and exists for more than 180 years. The festivities begin in the 17th of January of each year, when the “telalis” announces the start of all carnival celebrations right after the opening ceremony. These celebrations last up until Clean Monday, 40 days before the Greek-Orthodox Easter.

During the Carnival period, Patras becomes a city of color and entertainment. A great variety of events take place, which include dance events, parades, the Treasure Hunt, the Children’s Carnival, street theater, art exhibitions and of course the core parades.

All celebrations end with the closing ceremony, that takes place in the Saint Nick’s jetty with the burning of King of Carnival (Vasilias Karnavalos) and a fireworks show.

Frequently Asked Questions for Patras Carnival

When is the Opening Ceremony for Patras Carnival 2017?

The opening ceremony takes place on the first Saturday after the 17th of January, which is the official calendar day for the beginning of the Carnival festivities. This year the opening ceremony will take place on Saturday the 21th of January 2017.

When is the Grand Parade - dates of Patras Carnival 2017?

The Grand Parade will take place on Sunday the 26th of February 2017.

Where can I stay during the Patras Carnival?

The city of Patras offers a variety of accommodation options. During the Carnival festivities we recommend to stay in a hotel near the city center. Nevertheless, because of the popularity of Patras Carnival, room availability is low, so we recommend to book rooms early. For more information on hotels and affordable room options, check our Accommodation in Patras section.

How to come to Patras Carnival?

It is recommended to travel to Patras by car, but if that is not an option, there are bus and train services available. During the height of Carnival festivities, there are increased bust & train schedules from Athens to Patras and back. For more information, check our section on How to travel to Patras.

How can I participate in Patras Carnival?

There are various festivities taking place during the Carnival. The two most important, the Treasure Hunt and the Carnival Parades, require a parade group registration. For more information on how to join a group and a carnival parade, check our Patras Carnival Parade section.

Where can I see the costumes of the parade groups?

The costumes of the parade groups are exhibited one month before the core parades. In the exhibition you can find contact information for each parade group.