|Greek-or-Treat! A Hellenic Halloween|
Happy Halloween! If you’re Greek and living in North America, there’s a good chance you probably celebrate this day along with everybody else where ever you may reside. However, if you’re a Greek living in Greece, you probably have never taken part in the October 31st festivities, and if you do, there’s a good chance it started happening recently.
You see, Halloween in Greece was practically non-existent until recent years. And even still, there are only a select few individuals who get dressed up for the occasion.
Greece actually doesn’t celebrate Halloween, however they do take part in a massive festival every February that I’m sure many of you are familiar with; Apokries.
This festival started in ancient times and was believed to be a form of worship for Dionysos, the God of wine and feast. The celebration is more of a carnival and is all about dressing up and having fun. This is basically Greece’s replacement for Halloween. The festival takes place over a period of three weeks, and consists of masquerades, adult dress ups, and parties. By the end of the 21 days Apokries concludes with a Grand Carnival Parade which is held in cities all across the Greece, the largest and most famous of which takes place in Patra.
Nevertheless, there are actually a few famous (or infamous depending on how you look at it) locations in Greece where actual Halloween parties are held for everybody and anybody wearing a costume on October 31st. And according to internet buzz, the number one place where you can party on this day is the island of Corfu at the Pink Palace.
For those of you who (like me) don’t know anything about the Pink Palace, it is described as a cheap, wild, hostel-like hotel that puts together a “Greek-style” Halloween celebration each year. During this party they serve traditional Greek-style cocktails with a Halloween twist. Take “exhibit A” for example:
That’s right. Orange-coloured ouzo. It actually doesn’t look too bad.
In addition to these Halloween parties, there are also several costume chains located in Athens. These stores offer some great getups and masks for those looking to take part in the October fright night. And how about this for “festive”? Somebody even got creative enough to make a Greek Halloween treat. Check out this recipe for a pumpkin pie made with phyllo dough. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?
So now with Halloween falling on the same week as OXI parades all across the world (as it always does), let’s delve into a few Greek-inspired costumes for you to consider for this weekend. To kick things off let’s look at this epic jack-o-lantern that was carved and put on display at a café on the Danforth in Toronto's Greektown.
And now for a look at some costume ideas!
Mighty, mighty, Aphrodite
Alexander the Great
Let us know what you’re going to be for Halloween in the comment section below! Have a safe Halloween Friday night everybody! Trick-or-treat!
By Staff Writer - Jonathan Bliangas
Follow Jonathan on Twitter @jbliangas