Carnival in Zante

A Venetian style carnival taking place in Zante. You can experience the Italian influence in the culture of the island
Photography / Text: George Tatakis

Every year, during Carnival time, Zante island is hosting a great parade but also other events around the island. The Italian influences are very prominent in all of these events. 

Carnival in Zante - Greece. Western Greece. Zante. © George Tatakis
Carnival in Zante
Greece. Western Greece. Zante. © George Tatakis

One different tradition they have in Zante is the 'Omilies' (Talks). These are small theatricals that take place around the streets in different villages of the island. Local actors dress up and perform these small theatricals that date back to the Italian occupation. 

One different tradition they have in Zante is the 'Omilies' (Talks)

The script is based on rhymes and funny small stories. 

Carnival in Zante - Greece. Western Greece. Zante. © George Tatakis
Carnival in Zante
Greece. Western Greece. Zante. © George Tatakis
Carnival in Zante - Greece. Western Greece. Zante. © George Tatakis
Carnival in Zante
Greece. Western Greece. Zante. © George Tatakis

Carnival in Zante - Greece. Western Greece. Zante. © George Tatakis
Carnival in Zante
Greece. Western Greece. Zante. © George Tatakis

I arrived in Zante by Ferry from Killini town in the Peloponnese. You can of course catch a plane, as Zante has an international airport. The island is quite busy during the summer months, especially for its beautiful beaches. The most famous of which and at the same time one of the most famous in the world is Navayio (Shipwreck).

The island is quite busy during the summer months

Carnival in Zante - Greece. Western Greece. Zante. © George Tatakis
Carnival in Zante
Greece. Western Greece. Zante. © George Tatakis

Before the Great Parade, many events take place around the island. There is a big stage set in a main square of the town of Zante where performances take place, such as Venetian dances and more theatricals. A reenactment of a Venetian wedding also takes place.

Carnival in Zante - Greece. Western Greece. Zante. © George Tatakis
Carnival in Zante
Greece. Western Greece. Zante. © George Tatakis

Carnival in Zante - Greece. Western Greece. Zante. © George Tatakis
Carnival in Zante
Greece. Western Greece. Zante. © George Tatakis
Carnival in Zante - Greece. Western Greece. Zante. © George Tatakis
Carnival in Zante
Greece. Western Greece. Zante. © George Tatakis

The big parade comes on Sunday. This is the day before Ash Monday. The parade goes along the main road of Zante, you can't really miss it. I was along with one group and followed the whole thing from the start. All schools of the island have their own chariots and each one is dressed in a certain theme. 

The big parade comes on Sunday. This is the day before Ash Monday. 

Everyone is dancing and having and great time. 

Carnival in Zante - Greece. Western Greece. Zante. © George Tatakis
Carnival in Zante
Greece. Western Greece. Zante. © George Tatakis
Carnival in Zante - Greece. Western Greece. Zante. © George Tatakis
Carnival in Zante
Greece. Western Greece. Zante. © George Tatakis
Carnival in Zante - Greece. Western Greece. Zante. © George Tatakis
Carnival in Zante
Greece. Western Greece. Zante. © George Tatakis

Carnival in Zante - Greece. Western Greece. Zante. © George Tatakis
Carnival in Zante
Greece. Western Greece. Zante. © George Tatakis

They end up in a central square, where the largest stage is set and a crazy pillow fight begins. After that people continue having fun until the night. 

Carnival in Zante - Greece. Western Greece. Zante. © George Tatakis
Carnival in Zante
Greece. Western Greece. Zante. © George Tatakis
Carnival in Zante - Greece. Western Greece. Zante. © George Tatakis
Carnival in Zante
Greece. Western Greece. Zante. © George Tatakis

At night there is the last parade of the Carnival King who is taken at the main stage inside a coffin. He is taken up the stage and after some talks and theatricals the coffin is set on fire, which signals the end of the carnival. 

The burning of the Carnival King inside his coffin, signals the end of the Carnival.

The party of course goes on, in and out of nearby bars and clubs until the first morning hours. 

Carnival in Zante - Greece. Western Greece. Zante. © George Tatakis
Carnival in Zante
Greece. Western Greece. Zante. © George Tatakis
Carnival in Zante - Greece. Western Greece. Zante. © George Tatakis
Carnival in Zante
Greece. Western Greece. Zante. © George Tatakis

Carnival in Zante - Greece. Western Greece. Zante. © George Tatakis
Carnival in Zante
Greece. Western Greece. Zante. © George Tatakis
#masquerade #party #parade #zante #zakynthos #ionian #italian #influence #venetian #costumes #carnival #island

Location

Carnival in Zante

Omiron 38, Zakinthos 291 00, Greece
Zante, Western Greece, Greece