Celebrating Carnival in Nafplio
While in Athens, with the existing conditions of life, the spirit of the Carnival barely touches us, in Nafplio the carnival celebrations are from the beginning at their best, with jugglers, stilt walkers, music and dancing filling the city with fun.
Yes, this is the most fun time of the year and you can live it in two speeds:
One choice is to let yourself loosen up whistling indifferently, as you await the ultimate custom to arrive, the big Carnival parade, just before the Clean Monday.
The other choice is to live in it from start to finish, to experience it, to participate in the joy, without musts and rules...
This second thing is happening in Nafplio, where celebrations begin with the opening of the "Triodion" with the Carnival public criers to shout it from neighborhood to neighborhood.
The other things I love in Nafplio during carnival:
* The revival of traditions and customs, such as the custom of fire, the flying balloons, the revival of the Arvanitian wedding and -my favorite- the "gaitanaki" custom with the circular dance, symbolizing brotherhood, love, fellowship...
* The focus of the events may be around the historic city center, particularly in the Syntagma Square, but customs, events and celebrations take place in almost every village.
* Creative activities specially designed for children , such as kite making, which traditionally takes place (in February 23rd this year) in Syntagma Square, by the Children's Art Workshop of the National Gallery's Annex of Nafplio and Alexandros Soutsos Museum.
* Wandering and gazing around, you may suddenly come across ladies of... another time, who take their walk in the old town's narrow streets and you get carried away by the rhythm of the tarantellas. Nafplio and Commedia Dell 'Arte are so directly connected, that you think you live in the scene of a theatrical performance!
* You really enjoy food (taste the "gkogkes", the favorite food of the Carnival), wine and -above all- genuine hospitality.
Speaking of hospitality, my suggestion for your stay is called Elena hotel! An elegant hotel, absolutely family-friendly, it is a low budget option for those who want to enjoy a relaxed stay and an energizing breakfast, before the outing to town for the crazy carnival party! Ask for Aspa, she is your man (17, Sidiras Merarchias str., T. +30 27520 23217).
* You can fly your kite, the one you have made with your two hands or with your child, right beside the sea! As if you're throwing away every worry, like if the sea's blue washes out everything that troubles you, lightening your mind and heart...