The weather in Syros is:



Carnival is one of the highlights of the year in Syros. It’s a celebration of fun and color and is unlike any of the other carnivals in Greece that mark the beginning of Lent. Not only do the backdrops of medieval Ano Syros and classy Ermoupoli add their own special touches, but the atmosphere is one of freedom and spontaneity among participants and spectators. It includes a series of popular events (such as the Loukoumi Hunt) and culminates in a grand parade of carnival floats and costumes in Ermoupoli.


The last Thursday before Lent is known in Greece as Tsiknopempti (literally “grill Wednesday” because it is when, traditionally, Greeks eat souvlakia and other grilled meat before beginning their pre-Easter fast). In Syros, the celebrations include the “Syriano Idomata”, where mock wedding processions set off from different parts of the Syros and make their way to Miaouli Square in central Ermoupoli. The mood is always festive, with traditional music and dancing.

The Zeibekia tradition

On the Saturday before Syros’ grand Carnival parade, the Zeibekia tradition takes place in Markos Vamvakaris Square in Ano Syros. The custom involves a satirical war dance performed by male couples that tells the story of the kidnapping of a bride during Ottoman times. The tradition is thought to have been brought by Greek refugees from Asia Minor. On the evening of the same day, the first carnival procession makes its way through the medieval alleyways of Ano Syros.

Carnival Sunday

The carnival fun reaches its climax in Ermoupoli, the capital of Syros, with the parade of costumes and floats on Sunday. The route starts at the port and ends in Miaouli Square. Onlookers will experience the traditional ‘gaitanaki’ dance and admire all the participants vying for one of the carnival awards. Which team will catch the eye of the judges? What’s the most original theme? The satire continues with a theatrical performance in Miaouli Square, followed by the traditional Latin Party in the pedestrianised Protopapadaki Street.

Clean Monday

Clean Monday (Ash Monday) marks the end of carnival and symbolizies purity as it is the first day of Lent, the long fast before Easter that represents the 40 days of fasting of Christ in the desert. As a movable feast, it falls at the beginning of the 7th week (ie 48 days) before Orthodox Easter and is marked by eating Lenten food and kite flying. In the villages of Syros (like Lazareta, Danako, Posidonia, Vari and Manna), Clean Monday is known as koulouma and involves kite flying from early in the morning. In Galissas, there is a kite flying competition that visitors are invited to join, followed by dancing and singing and plenty of food.


Just when it seems that Carnival in Syros has come to an end, the festivities are renewed on Tuesday with the tradition of the “Burning of the Carnival”, which revives the custom of the last Carnival of the Catholics in Ano Syros with more dancing and singing… after which Carnival in Syros is officially over and Lent has begun.