Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Kozani Apokries/Carnival 2010-part 1

Last Friday, if you were to ask me what we were doing over the weekend I would have told you that I was resting, recovering from the flu. I wasn't going anywhere and I probably didn't want to see anyone. I had a fever, made myself soup and took refuge under my covers, no plans of emerging for a few days. But...it was the final weekend of Apokries/carnival and my kids wanted to go to visit their yia yia and enjoy the festivities in Kozani as is our family tradition. So, Saturday morning I woke up feeling better and let the kids know I would be willing to go out of town for the weekend. I packed our bags and we headed out. 
Typically, I take hundreds of photos and it's hard for me to choose which ones to share. Because of this I've decided that I'll start this post with what we experienced on Saturday and will post the events of Sunday separately. So here's  a bit of what happened Saturday (Feb. 13)...

Shortly after we arrived we went out shopping. Izabella still didn't have a wig and we knew we'd find one in Kozani. We were met by the first of many travelling bands accompanied by dancing men. I love this! These bands have been parading through Kozani for the entire week, from morning until night. 

The streets are full of costume shops and all of them have funky mannequins modeling carnival accessories. I think I'll use the above photo as a profile picture in the future. Sleek...

A shot inside one shop. We did find a wig for Izabella and she was thrilled. 

Before she wore her wig she had to try on my mask. 

Here she is, our little Hannah Montana

And naturally, all of us had to try on the wig. In fact, it caused a bit of a problem...Alexandra HAD to have one. So, my sister-in-law set out with her to find the same one. Unfortunately, we bought the last one of its kind and Alexandra didn't want anything else. After two trips to the costume shop, we found our little doll a wig that was suitable for her...

and here she is. She loves this wig and wouldn't take it off for two days. She even embraced the wig as she slept. I think it's hilarious. 

Back to the carnival...
Fanoi were lit on Saturday and of course there was live music and dancing around the fire. 

This guy delived  a fanos and  free tiropitas (cheese pie).  It's traditional for tiropita to be offered at each fanos.  I was told that this is the fourth year that there was a travelling fanos, bringing the fire to different neighborhoods.  What a great idea! 

My favorite part of carnival every year is watching dancers in traditional costumes. I love the festive atmosphere. 

A crowd gathers in the center to enjoy the live entertainment.

 I call this Izabella's paparazzi shot. She looks like a celebrity ducking the camera! 

There was a giant green gummy bear. If you don't know this annoying gummy bear by now, here's a link to a video. The kids love this bear and can play the gummy bear song for hours. It's torture. 

Cotton candy & lollipops.

Who doesn't love cotton candy? 

Myself with my little blondes! 
We were out for a few hours but decided to stay in for the remainder of the night because we wanted to rest for the parade and other parties on Sunday. Although, we didn't get much sleep since my in-laws live right in the center and the music didn't stop until sunrise. Live bands, bars, party goers, fireworks and horns all night. Even if I didn't sleep, I didn't  mind since I'm finally used to it and it's part of the experience. 

Here's my little Jedi on Sunday morning. Things started to get messy!
To be continued...

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  1. I know exactly what you mean about gummi bear and cotton candy!

  2. Wow! How fun. I wish apokries was as big in america as it is in greece. The gummy bear song is hillarious! :D
    Looks like you had a wonderful time.

  3. Good evening. In Kozani nice to spend a lot of lamps.
    You are amazing disguised as karnavalia.Kali Lent.

  4. Thank you for your comment...Your little girls look fantastic!

  5. I've often considered packing all six pygmies up for an international tour, but the thought of it usually wears me out! But I am going to be taking them to experience some of the international traditions as they get older. I promised my oldest a trip to Corfu after his first year in college. I may have to go chaperone... ha!

  6. Awesome Mon Cheri!! What fantastic memories you are giving to your children. Bravo!!

  7. @ Liz- Good morning! Yes...let's ditch the gummy bear! Strange bear that it is! lol

    @ Irene- I agree, it's too bad there aren't more carnival celebrations in the U.S. The gummy bear song was fun the first 10x I heard it, but now it's lost all charm! lol :)

    @ Το blog της Θεσσαλονικιας- Kalimera~ Yes, Kozani is wonderful for the carnival and fanoi. Thank you for your kind words and I wish you nice Lent as well. Have a wonderful day :)

    @ Gingeyging- My pleasure, I love bombshells. :)
    Thank you so much for your compliments! Have a great day!

    @ Together We Save- Welcome! Thank you for visiting~~ we did have a lot of fun. :) Have a nice day!

    @ Spuds- packing up six kids is quite a task...I know because I was one of six! (didn't know that did you?) Waiting until they're older is definitley a wise choice as it's tiring enough to take mine an hour away for 3 days. I think that chaperoning a trip to Corfu is a great excuse to make the journey! You have to show him around ;P Have a wonderful day Spuds!

    @ Christie- Thank you my cupcake, I try :) Enjoy the day ~~ TTL!!

  8. @ Christie...TTYL! NOT TTL>>> we'll have to make up something for TTL now. :0)

  9. Thanks again for commenting...It really makes me smile as I scroll down past their beautifull little faces.x.

  10. Fantastic pictures Cheryl for 'Taxidiaris' :):)

  11. @ Gingeyginge- You're so welcome! I love escaping to your site...a place less common. It's inspiring and fun, I'm so glad that you do it. :)

    @ Phivos- Thank you! The second post that goes with this is almost finished and the photos get more interesting. And you know, just tell me what you need and it's yours :):)

  12. Too good a post. The little blondes look so good in those wigs! Your little Jedi is very cute.

    Wednesday Wallpaper - Buffalo Life

  13. Bhavesh~~ Hello & Thank you!! I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Have a fantastic Thursday! :)

  14. you even had snow?! you got it all on carnical day, didn't you!

  15. Nice shots..awesome..Have fun.

  16. @ Maria- Yes! A LOT of snow...messy & wet but didn't stop us...

    @ Krisno- Thank you!!! Having fun, always trying to have fun! Have a spectacular weekend! :D

  17. great blog cheryl. only one observation (i think it is the correct word) the travveling fanos was for 4rd year (since 2006)..thanks for the good comments

  18. Anonymous- Kalimera! Thank you for the compliments and thank you for the correction. I'll change it at my first opportunity.
    Have a wonderful day! :)