Many years ago…                   

Since 1914, the beautiful Renaissance Rethymno has celebrated Carnival with its many fun events. A Carnival from times gone by, which left the nostalgic scent of romantic dances in the air, during which the inhabitants of Rethymno, amidst laughter and jokes, paid homage to “His Excellency the King of Carnival”.

The teams participating in the traditional treasure hunt, dating back to the dawn of Carnival, gave their name to today’s “Groups” or “Clubs” of volunteers, founded in 1990.

In 1993, the Municipality of Rethymno decided to contribute to the financing of this popular event and asked the clubs to take on the difficult task of creating and organizing the Rethymno Carnival, which has become the most popular and famous Carnival in Crete!

One of the unique features of the Apokries Rethymno Carnival is that many of the activities take place along the coast. The beaches of Rethymnon become the perfect place to organize beach parties, concerts and fireworks shows. This combination of sea and celebration makes the Apokries Rethymnon Carnival an unforgettable experience for visitors.

How does it start?

The carnival begins in a very traditional way: a town crier tells people where the party will take place. Then it’s time to celebrate!

The Greek carnival begins on Saturday evening with the Triodion, or the three odes that are sung in Orthodox churches and which officially open this period. The following weeks have different names and for specific reasons, namely:


Profoni, literally the voice that comes first. The first week of carnival is in fact the week that announces the party

Kreatinì, or meat (also called “meat eaters”). This is the week in which we begin to indulge in meat in view of the period of abstinence that will then arrive. In fact, the famous Tsiknopempti (Τσικνοπεμπτη), the day in which meat is eaten in every sauce, belongs to this week. It’s a day when we usually celebrate with family and friends and gorge ourselves on meat as much as we can.

Tyrinì cheese week (τυρί). During the third week of Carnival we begin to abandon meat to prepare for Lent, in favor of cheese. Typically the most famous parades take place on Sunday of this week.

The day that opens Lent (Σαρακοστή), is called Kathara Deftera, or the first Monday in which we eat completely clean, also typically associated with the beginning of spring, so if the weather permits we go for a picnic in some park.

The carnival is accompanied by numerous meetings, such as the “team dance” and “treasure hunt” activities, but also traditional dances, popular music, concerts with a Cretan choir and orchestra, stimulating shows, children’s workshops, parades and much more. even more.


Furthermore, you will be able to enjoy the traditional Cretan alcohol: “tsikoudiá”, also known as “Raki”. Don’t miss the four-hour “Kantáda” serenade: carnival musical groups walk the streets and sing, filling the city with wonderful melodies.

Although the carnival lasts three weeks, the most important events take place in the last days. At the end of the carnival there is a glorious night parade, the Grand Parade, and the burning of the Carnival King.

Carnival in Rethymno will surely bring you many emotions and unforgettable experiences.

So, book your accommodation in advance and enjoy!