"Carnivalists are the protagonists", with this motto every year the Carnival of Kalamata will make its official launch, with a festive celebration in the square of 23th of March. The city of Kalamata enters the rhythm of carnival with a full program of event, concerts and games.
This is the day of Kalamata’s protector, Ipapanti. The ceremony starts at the cathedral, where the parade starts with the Ipapantis Icon on frond and lots of crowd behind, rounding the city center. Christian from all over Greece are visiting Kalamata on 2nd of February.
First day of Orthodox Lent, a time of family togetherness, kite-flying and distinctive meals embracing the bounty of the sea and the gifts of the earth: octopus, squid, mussels, shrimp, olives, spring onions, radishes, lagana (unleavened bread), halva (tahini-based sweet confection) and the ubiquitous taramosalata (salty, fish-egg spread).
Clean Monday is a public holiday and usually includes a nature excursion with family and friends. It marks the end of Halloween and usually falls in late February or early March.
Grill Day or Barbecue Thursday (Tsiknopempti)
Apokrea in Greek (Carnevale in Latin) means abstaining from meat and preparing for the fasting period before Easter, it is within this holiday spirit that we have the custom of "pig slaughtering" in Messinia, when every home slaughters an animal the day before Tsiknopempti.
Residents then "tsiknizoun" (smoke), the meat and sausages that will be preserved. To this day it is a custom to go out on Tsiknopempti and savor the aroma, and taste, of grilled meat, drink some wine, and leave one’s worries behind.
In practice, the Grill Thursday marks the start of Halloween and Carnival events, which conclude on Clean Monday (Kathara Deutera). Tsiknopempti, Halloween (Carnival) and Clean Monday have a different date, usually from mid-February to early March.