Searching for the The Rethymno Carnival

The Rethymno Carnival is undoubtedly Crete’s largest, most important and most flamboyant carnival. Held in the town of Rethymno, the three-week celebration showcases Greek culture in the most spectacular of ways possible, subtly blending the nation’s traditions, art, dance and theatre. For a number of years this was the festival's website.
Content is from the site's 2001- 2015 archived pages.

If you have inadvertently ended up here while searching for information about the Rethymno Carnival, the festival's current website is found at:
The Rethymno Carnival was cancelled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 virus's spread in Greece.


An aside: The COvid pandemic has certainly complicated every day life in myriad ways. The cancellation of the Rethymno Carnival is probably a minor one in the scope of things, however, I was one of the disappointed festival goers. Now that we are more than 6 months into this pandemic the decision, in hind sight, was absolutely correct. Normally I go to Greece for two months each year to visit relatives and attend the festival. As the scope of the pandemic began to manifest itself, there were furious emails back and forth with my relatives as I tried to decide if my plans should be cancelled. When Gov Cuomo shut down NYC as the hospitals were over run with Covid-19 patients, panic griped those of us living in the city. I was able to work at home and "shelter in place". Now that it is Fall and the city is reopening, I am finally getting some things done that I had put off and dealt with as best I could. I really need to get some carpets cleaned, a chore I usually set up to have done each Spring. Well that obviously didn't happen, so just this week I called my regular NYC carpet cleaning company, My Home Carpet Cleaning NYC, first to see if they were still in business( you never know) and then to find out if they could come an pick up my carpets for their annual cleaning. Thanks goodness they were still in business. They do such a great job and apply only organic, non chemical solutions which I consider very important since I have two children. Hopefully 2021 will bring some normal back to our life and we will once again be able to return to Greece and the Rethymno Carnival. We need some uplifting, crazy fun.



image Carnival in Rethymno


Joy of Life


2015 Rethymno Carnival

Carnival in Rethymno


Welcome to the fantastic colorful and breath taking Carnival in Rethymno. Year after year we celebrate our Carnival like no other town in Greece can do. Masquerades and Parties and all over the town for three weeks. Traditional and modern with music and theatre, street parades and children's events. Our "Treasure Hunt" is legend. So is our Grand Parade with many floats and thousands of happy paraders.

Mayor's Message

Music, dance, recreation, disguise, treasure hunt, groups and floats parade, parties, partying .. just some of the words and images that come spontaneously in the mind when we talk about Carnival. Granted. The Rethymno Carnival has these characteristics. But there are also those that define the essence. The institution loved by Creten and supported each year by teams from across the country, constantly leaves his social footprint in the city and leaves a unique sense of participation in something creative and humane to all participants. It is an institution that continuous socializes its members, activates crowds of people of all ages, it's inspiring, it causes joint action and it entertains.

This year's theme is focused on dealing with bullying that offends young children, so unprovoked offensive in every facet of their lives. Through concrete actions we all together, citizens of Rethymnon and guests, accompanied by Carnival and its their symbolism let us rethink, share concerns and certainties and hopes to exchange feelings and ideas, to establish a common front of resistance against any form of intimidation and hurting young children.

Through the colors, the music and this unmediated invoked feelings the Carnival in Rethymnon opens the doors of our mind and heart to the children suffering from all forms of violence, in order to assure that we are here to listen, share their concerns and fight their fears, eliminating sources of pain.

We welcome you all to our city, which, through the great celebration, the Carnival in Rethymnon invites you to subscribe to your participation in rejection of any discrimination, affecting the identity and personality of the new generation and to actively take part in this lively interaction and optimism for the future.

Happy Halloween!



Thursday, January 29th > The bellman of the Carnival in Rethymnon in the villages of the municipality of Rethymnon: Viran Episkopi, Amnatos, Archaea Eleftherna, Adele.
> 14.30 Departure from the parking lot Tesseris Martyrs
Friday, January 30th > The bellman of the Carnival in Rethymnon in the villages of the municipality of Rethymnon: Argyroupoli, Atsipopoulo, Gonia, Somatas, Armeni, Spili.
> 14.30 Departure from the parking lot Tesseris Martyrs
> Party of the carnival team MALAGANES at the café-bar Living Room.
Saturday, January 31st > Prologue Rethymnon: Begin at Town Hall, L. Kountourioti, Platia Tessaron Martyron, Ethniki Antistaseos, Arkadiou, Tsouderon, Platia Agnostou Stratioti.
13:00 - 16:00: Event for the participants of the children's Treasure Hunt 2016.
Sunday, February 1st

> Beginning of the three-week carnival season 2015.
> Opening celebration of Carnival in Rethymnon 2015 with the Mayor of Rethymnon
> Battle of words, discourse and debate with the King Carnival
> Presentation of carnival costumes of the teams of the Carnival in Rethymnon 2015
> Concert with the group OTHERVIEW
> Old Town - Children's Treasure Hunt 2015 Ivan & Aura. Organisation: MALAGANES

Thursday, February 5th > First Carnival party of the team OI ASKETOI at MINI BAR
Friday, February 6th > 21:00 Dancing event of the Treasure Hunt 2015 teams, organized by the MALAGANES Carnival team.
Saturday 7th and Sunday, February 8th > 26th Great treasure hunt "The search for the hidden treasure" 2015, ORGANIZATION: MALAGANES
The GOUSGOUNIDES team found the treasure first and will organize the 2015 treasure hunt. CONGRATULATIONS!
Tuesday, February 10th > Ancient Greek Serenades
18.30: Ancient Greek serenades fill every corner of the city of Rethymno. Beginning at Platia Iroon Polytechniou, on the streets Koronaiou, Arabatzoglou, Petihaki, Arkadiou, Tsouderon, Ethniki Antistaseos, ending at the Magali Porta.
Wednesday, February 11th > Carnival party of the SKARAVEI CLUB team 2015 at ICE CLUB.
> Carnival party maské for children of the PERIIGITES CLUB carnival team, at the PERIIGITIKI LESHI hall (Ag. Frangiskou 4, near Platia Mikrasiaton)
> Carnival party of the ARGOSCHOLOI at Metropolis Club (Νεάρχου 15, Venetian port)

Thursday, February 12th

> SHROVE THURSDAY EVENTS:  Dancing and maskerades all over the town at the open air parties of the carnival teams with many activities and surprises.

15:30 to 19:00 Children's carnival dance of Lycio Ellinidon, Hall of Lycio Ellinidon, organization: Lycio Ellinidon - Lyceum of Greek Women Rethymno ( LER )
> 19:00 - 20:00 Platia Mikrasiaton - The Music School of Rethymnon (Dancing group - traditional music orchestra) and the Lycio Ellinidon, Rethymno present the traditional Carnival ceremony "To Gaitanaki" ("The Carousel").
> 19.00 Platanos "ROZALIA IS COMING". Come join us in Carnivals dress and have your tambourine with you just for fun. Stroll with us through the town, followed by "Gypsy Gala" at "Galero" inside and outside.
> 20.00 Platia Mikrasiaton: Traditional making of Raki.

Tsikna dance and revelry throughout the city !
- On the square Ierolochiton (opposite of the TT Bank) with the teams TA PARTALIA and RAKODIKASMENOI
- At "Loggia" – Pavlos 2 with the team EMBEEROI
- At Mesolongiou-Str. – at "Playroom" with the team RODOLINI

- Outside ot the NET TV office - Platia Tesseris Maryres - together with FLY FM 95.9 LIVE the DAKTYLODEIHTOUMENOI team.

Friday, February 13th > Party of the POTHEN AISHIOS team at Ennea Ogdoa (Αρκαδίου 305)
Saturday, February 14th > 19:30 Kentro MEGARO: Dance event of Carnival teams with theater performances, satirical sketches, dance event of the Organized Groups of Carnival (OPK)
Monday, February 16th > DISCO-Party at the SUGAR-COFFEE-Bar, Organisation TZITZIKOTRICHIDES
> The Carnival teams ALTER EGO and KITRA organize their party at ICE CLUB (Mesolongiou und Salaminos, Old Town).
Tuesday, February 17th > The Carnival team ANONYMOI organizes their party at the Dive Bar Ennea Ogdoa (Αρκαδίου 305).
Wednesday, February 18th > Carnival dance event at METROPOLIS Cliub, organized by the RAKODIKASMENOI team.
> The Carnival team ANEMOMYALOI holds their party 2015 at LEVARE
> The Carnival team DAKTYLODEIHTOUMENOI holds their party 2015 OLA ELLINIKA
Thursday, February 19th

> The Carnival team GOUSGOUNIDES organizes their party at Bar Ennea Ogdoa (Αρκαδίου 305) "Viva La Revolution!".
> The Carnival team ANICHNEFTES organizes their party at LIVING ROOM LOUNGE CAFE(Beach road).
> The Carnival team OI ALLOI organizes their party at BISTRO (Souderon)
> The Carnival team POTAGONISTES organizes a party at FORTEZZA CLUB.
> The Carnival team GAZANOVES organizes a Kids party at MINI BAR.
> The Carnival team PANDA YA organizes a Party at ICE CLUB (dress code: "School Girls and Freaky Nerds").
> The Carnival team OUTSIDERS organizes their party at BAR CODE.

Friday, February 20th

> Cretan traditional serenades (Kantades) in all corners of the city of Rethymnon.
> Beginning at 18:30 at Platia Agnostou Stratioti, through the streets Arkadiou, Paleologos, Ethniki Antistaseos, Tzane Bouniali, Nikiforo Foka, Vernardou - end at Platia Mikrasiaton

> The Carnivaloi organize their Carnival party at the SUGAR-COFFEE-Bar ( Eleftherios Venizelos 14)
> 20:00 The Carnival team EMEIS and EMEIS organize their Party Maské at ICE CLUB (Mesolongiou und Salaminos, Old Town) "Bring colors into your life".
> Second party of the Carnival team OI ASKETOI at BAR CODE (E. Venizelou 8, Beach Road)
Saturday, February 21st

> Traditional NIGHT PARADE of the Carnival team with satirical song battle between the teams and the King Carnival.
Beginning at Kountourioti Ave. at Papandreou crossing, end at Platia Mikrasiaton.
> Party of PERIIGITES CLUB teams after the night parade in the Hall of Periigitiki Leshi.

Sunday, February 22nd

> 14.00: Grand Parade of carnival floats and teams. Beginning at Kountourioti Ave. at Theotokopoulou crossing.
> Closing Ceremony - burning of King Carnival at the Eleftherios Venizelos Street, on the Eastern beach of the Old Town of Rethymnon with a concert.

Monday, February 23rd (ASH MONDAY) > Clean Monday celebrations: Traditional events such as kite flying in the picturesque villages of Rethymnon
> Municipality of Rethymno Rethymno TOWN: Traditional insults (verbal exchanges)
> 12:30: Rethymno - Traditional Koulouma on the beach, El.Venizelou road
> SOMATAS: The Cultural Association offers traditional bean soup
> ARMENI: 10:00: Traditional Insult dispute, traditional Koulouma
> MELIDONI - community Mylopotamou: Egg hunt 11:00 clock and 14:00 clock, The Abduction of the bride, Kantis
> MERONAS 12:00: Traditional events. The Lerades, the bear, Hotschas, Tsagkaris, the matchmaking, the camel and other games along with traditional music and dance.
> PATSOS 11:30: The Abduction of the bride, renovation of traditional games and a Cretan festival.
> GERANI: the camel parade, starting at 12:00 clock float, cheering, dancing, dining tables kingdom for Faster and Faster with a lot of non-wine. Organized by the Cultural Association Gerani "Pride".
> ELEFTHERNA - Municipality of Rethymno: Reviving the traditional customs such as Psilogaidoura of the youth of the village.


Y Alli    
Aneprokopi Club (To Zoi Mas) *    
(Anti)Kapnistes Club    
Y Asheti    
Boudalia *    
Emis & Emis    
Oloi Vitsiozoi    
Panda Ya    
Perigites Club    
Pothen Aishos    
San y myga mes to Gala    
Scaravei Club    
Ta Partalia    
Tromokrates *    
I Ypolipi    
FEK Rethymnou    
Y Epomenoi    
...and many others...
*= inactive


Carnival in Rethymno


The "TZITZIKOTRIHIDES" are proud to be one of the teams who have shaped the Carnival in Rethymno since 1990 by creating every year a mood of fun and joy with our costumes and floats!

image team

In 2015, we are "NINJA TURTLES"


  "Y Aalli"

(The Other Ones) A team consisting of 150 members full of good spirit, liveliness and dedication. They gave their debut in 1991 at the traditional "Treasure hunt" which takes place in the old town of Rethymnon two weeks before the Grand Parade. From 1993 they are present at the Carnival in Rethymno always holding first places for their beautiful costumes and impressive floats. It should be said here that the team's costumes are all home-made by its members.

2015: "Steam Punk"

In most busy city of carnival , the OI ALLOI Club team and the AMELETITOI team members leave their occupations, are joining forces and are getting out on the streets. This year we are celebrating a century carnival with a glamorous party over all Rethymno! Wear glamorous costumes, spectacular hats, and open champagnes for 100 years of Carnival! Follow them on a heady journey into the world of color, music and unbelievable good mood! They dance, laugh and cry aloud: " The AMELETITOI and OI ALLOI are together at the carnival ! ! !

image logo


We are Emis & Emis, a group of friends in good mood, which appeared for the first time 20 years ago.

Debut at the '94 Carnival in Rethymno with topic Elementary School. In the following year we spent unforgettable moments as Nightly Visions. The following years are described below...
Our Team takes part in all events of the 3-week Carnival season. The only goal of our group is to stay close together all over the year. And we succeed in this efforts in organizing excursions and super parties. We know very well that joint fun is double fun and give man the power on his/her way ahead.

2009: We solve the problem of the century: Water from the Amazone! 2010 we were the one and only CARNIVAL FLAMES. CARNIVAL 2011: WE HAVE A HEAP OF DEBTS AND STILL DON'T FEAR THE TROIKA! Optimistic as always, we invest in friendship, which helps us to withstand all the adversities of life. Carnival 2012: Rabbits with lips of stone running like mad! 2013 "The 300 Dogs in our House of Parliament . . ." CARNIVAL 2014: "EMEIS Jazz, ESEIS?" (We're Jazz, and you?) CARNIVAL 2015: "Chocolate and cream!"

CARNIVAL 2015: "Chocolate and cream!"
In difficult financial times the satire is indispensable to laugh.
Today, all of which have been revised and all there is a widespread suspicion and uncertainty we satirize what is happening in the House of Parliament.
While animal lovers say because we believe, it is our obligation to protect the animals. Together with them we can support a world that is constantly collapsing..


Carnival 2001: Also in Rethymnon our "Moulin Rouge" added a new dimension to the term "having fun" like we do understand it.!!! And because we moved through Rethymnon with our own kind of "Can-can", once again we set the whole town upside down, and, be sure, we did it again in 2002 with our beautiful chefs. 2003 we all went as playing cards, our ladies as Queen of Hearts, of course.
And 2004 we showed to Rethymnon the "Power of Flower". 2005 we roll the dice! If you like to meet us, come and join us. 2006: Dancing with . . . swans: Dance with us our dream of a beautiful world!
2007: The OR(G)ION Express of Emis & Emis is coming for the carnival roads of Rethymnon.
2008: The EMEIS & EMEIS Team go as Hermes, the messenger of the gods. of The fun begins again.



(diaper pissers with cigars)

Fill your suitcase with whatever crazy you can find, take with you whatever makes you
feel fine, forget your problems for a while and let us take you to our infinite world.
The world of Carnival. A world which makes us all children again.
We give you the chance. You have nothing to do, just follow us.


The POUROPIPINIA team 2015: We are Tin Soldiers!

One hundred years ( 100 ) Carnival , sixteen years (16 ) POUROPIPINIA ! Once more the POUROPIPINIA invite us to put aside our problems and our pains and participate in carnival rhythms in which our city ist breathing.
The Carnival in Rethymno lives and will live forever, because it was brought to us from our ancestors, and we younger continue to live it, making it increasingly impressive and lead the events through the corresponding zeitgeist.
Fill your suitcase ( you who are away) , with as much madness you have, take with you whatever makes you feel good, come to "show" the tiger in us, that is our theme this year to shout, to dance to feel like children in those large moments of relaxation and cheerfulness .

Our crew usually consists of 200-300 members (of all ages) sometimes even more! We are among the most cheerful and lively groups! So let us be your "travel guide" in the vast world of ours ... In the world of carnival .... A world that makes us all children .... We give you the opportunity ... You only have to follow us .....


image logotype Carnival team Athorivi in Rethymno


1996 the ATHORIVI (in Greek "The silent Ones") earned their first laurels at the Carnival in Rethymnon with a huge float under the title "CASINO DE COLoy", which means about Jazz Casino in Greek. It was a real nice rolling casino with slotmachines, living dices and playing cards. Even a bar had been installed.
2003 we were back in business with our rolling beachclub "Reziliero Bar"; and 2004 we built our own "Wonder City"! 2005 we are coming up with a new cat and our motto: "Carousel Greece - Your Greatness". 2006 we proudly present our EURO-Harem-Dancers, and 2007 we all were "Peter Pan and Tink in NeverNeverLand" and 2008 we are "EUROBOUND", and 2009 we were Doges and Venetians. 2010 we are all Ashes and Burberry.

Athorivi costume
2010 Ashes and Burberry, our costume!



The ANGUROXIPNIMENI team shows up really awake during the Carnival 2013 (Angouroxipnimeni = The lively Wimps)



The PERIIGITES CLUB is a department of the Travelers’ Association of Rethymnon, PERIHGHTI LESKHI which concerns itself with the Carnival in Rethymnon and the Treasure Hunt organized annually in connection with the carnival. The Travelers’ Association of Rethymnon is one of the initial members of the carnival and has shaped it over the years considerably.

2015: "Joker… Why so serious?"


2014 Rethymno Carnival

100 years Carnival in Rethymno: a crowd of over 45.000 happy masqueraders floating Rethymnon in 2014!




2013 Rethymno Carnival

image Carnival in Rethymno


Joy of Life

Carnival in Rethymno 2013: a crowd of over 20.000 happy masqueraders floating Rethymnon!

to the fantastic colorful and breath taking Carnival in Rethymno. Year after year
we celebrate our Carnival like no other town in Greece can do. Masquerades and Parties and all over the town for three weeks. Traditional and modern with music and theatre, street parades and children's events. Our "Treasure Hunt" is legend. So is our Grand Parade with many floats and thousands of happy paraders.


The team, which from 1994 knows how to become one with the crowd, to transmit liveliness, good mood, color and phantasy with the carnival spirit as only measure.
The RODOLINI know that carnival is not only the grand parade of the floats. That's why every year they take part in the teams' dancing events, the night parade, at all the carnival parties and are organizing excursions.
In the end, did we catch your interest? That's nice!

Our motto for 2013:
"Getup . . . Let's go Cuba!"



2001 Rethymno Carnival

Mayor's Greetings 2001

Dear friends,
we invite you to our town to share the unique experience, which this year's Carnival in Rethymno is promising.

The good mood of thousands of masked participants, who are flooding the streets of Rethymnon, the joy of creating and of team work, the liveliness of people, who have left behind their daily problems, and the fantasy, which is in this orgy of colors, the music and the dancing is inviting you to join.

Welcome to our enlightened celebrating cheerful town!



Sunday, February 4th Begin of the 3 - week Carnival season with
Treasure hunt for children in the Old Town
Cantades at Prefecture square
Friday, February 9th 20:00 : Dancing party of the treasure hunt's teams at PELAGOS center
Sunday, Febrary 11th 12th Traditional treasure hunt all over the Old Town of Rethymnon with many teams. Start at Town Hall, organized by the Ekats'i-koutsi katsika team. After a dramatic finish, the hidden treasure  was found by the GALATES team. Congratulations!
Monday, February 12th 16:30 : Children's' dance event of the Perigitiki Leschi Club at Perigitiki Leschi hall.
Wednesday February 14th Party of the Pouropipinia team at Bobo's Club
Thursday, February 15th Tsiknopempti (masquerades everywhere) 
20:00 : Live Latin music with dance, wine and snacks at Titou Petichaki Square (Platanos) and live Cretan music at the "Mikri Panagia" square.
Friday, Febrary 16th Mystery Night Party of the Boubounes team at Bobo's Club
Sunday, Febrary 18th 19:30 : Dancing party of the Carnival teams at the MEGARO center with presentation of costumes and theater sketches by the carnival teams with music, dance, wine and food.
Friday, Febrary 23th Night Parade of the carnival teams in the Old Town of Rethymnon
Saturday, Febrary 24th Dancing party of the "Periyitiki Leski" Club at the ZYGOS center with live music, dance and food.
Sunday, February 25th 12:30 : Grand Parade on Rethymno's main avenue. Begin at BIO with live music and dance



Municipality of Rethymnon
Periyitiki Leski
Y Alli
Oraiokapilon Piisi
Scarabaeus Club
Aneprokopi Club (To Zoi Mas)
Sersemides (municip. Lampis)
3rd Kapi
Alter Ego
Emis & Emis
Horia Kapodistria
...and many others...