Carnival: "Fanoi"of the city of Kozani.

Filippos Kalliaras
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Carnival in Kozani start with dances and songs on the Roasted Thursday (as we call it), 15 days before the Great Carnaval.

The traditional carnival of Kozani is called "Ragotsaria" and historicaly starts in the mid 17th century. People were dressed with a mask of mermaid and they carry bells on them too, while going up and down the city for 12 days, singing and gathering money in order to organise a HUGE fiesta in the end of the carnaval.

These days the carnival of Kozani has changed a bit and it is mainly about agor-carnaval, with people setting wood fires in each neighborhood and dancing around it, eating and drinking Tsipouro and Wine, but also organising theatrical shows that talk about history, mythology, travels and their eveyday life.

You should not confuse the carnival you have seen in European countries with this traditional carnaval called "Fanoi", because they have nothing in common. "Fanoi" is a very unique and rare tradition. It is a big fiesta which takes place around the wooden fires of each neighborhood accompanied with delicious food, wine, singing, dancing and dirty and sexual talking. It demands a lot of preparation that is why people come together this days, they forget about their differences and they aim to have LOADS OF FUN. If you attend the "Fanoi" you have to participate, otherwise it will go wasted. You have to experience it, drink a lot, dance around the fire and taste the warm red wine you will be offered by the Leader of the "Fanoi". Each day a different "Fanos" is lighted in each neighborhood and all the people from the other neighborhoods gather around it and start their fiesta under the sounds of Trumpets and other Bronze instruments, as they call it, until the morning comes.

The last night of the Great Carnival, is the most sacred one. All the people have to get out of their homes and participate in the great parade, all the "Fanoi" of the city are light and people tend to get very drunk and crazy. Why is this? It is because the next day of the Great Carnival, is the Clean Monday, which indicates the start of meat bannning and the 40 days that the christian will wait until the Greek Pasha and the crussifixion of Jesus.

With a minimum budget and a good company, you will have the time of your life during the "Fanoi" tradition of Kozani. If you are young or feel young, you have to try this. You will never forget it.


  • Get the warmest clothes with you. Kozani is very cold during these days.
  • Wear your smile and be sure you will have an amazing time

About the Author

Filippos Kalliaras

He belongs at the generation of '92. He is a student of Informatics and Telecommunication engineering of WMU and temparily lives at Kozani. He is a seeking spirit, he likes to be present in any situation and to fill his day with many activities. Filippos can be described by three words: Sociability, Innovation and Creation, which led him to be a part of Youth Entrepreneurs and Open Course. In his limited free time he likes to travel, seeking the difference in philosophy and culture of different tribes (like all Sagitarius), he likes to have fun and be with his favorite people. He hates the expression " I am bored, i don't know what to do" and he keeps says " I wish there were more than 24 hours a day".

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