The Carnival of Patras is first and foremost a challenge for various group activities which, by their nature alone, have the power to change people’s moods and stereotypes. Its most outstanding characteristic is its ability to convert grimaces into smiles, inspiration into creation and artistic pursuit into original and imaginative events. Other key concepts include fair play, cheerfulness, unselfishness and spontaneous voluntary activity, which graft all ages in the magical experience of participation.
The Carnival is a hive of joy, new ideas, spontaneous expression and a creative outlet for those who dare to taste a bit of its honey.
It is the largest carnival event in Greece and one of the major carnivals around Europe, where dozens of spectacular happenings take place, including theatrical performances, dances, parades and group games, from the day of the Opening Ceremony to the Closing Ceremony which signifies the end of the festivities.
Over the last 70 years, the Carnival of Patras is characterized by a continuous increase in people’s participation in the carnival events. In its modern form, it expands creatively throughout the carnival period with a variety of events, including balls, parades, The Treasure Hunt Game, The Children’s Carnival, The ‘Bourboulia’ Balls (dating back from the 19th century), street theater shows, art exhibitions, concerts, etc. It culminates in the last weekend with its spectacular Night Parade on Saturday and the magnificent Sunday Parade of floats and crews in which thousands of people take part. The curtain falls with the breathtaking burning of the King of the Carnival, part of the Closing Ceremony festivities, at the quay of St. Nicholas in the city’s old port.