Xanthi: The Folk Carnival
The Thracian city of Xanthi hosts one of the most popular carnivals in the country. Xanthi carnival started in 1966 as an urban event but has incorporated many traditional elements, based on the city’s multicultural character that renders it the most folklore of urban carnivals. The highlight is the Folk Parade on Saturday before Ash Monday: bringing together cultural associations from all over Greece, the troupes go singing and dancing through the neighborhoods of the picturesque Old Town and merge in an all-night Balkan folk music fiesta in the main square. Cheesefare Sunday leads to the custom of Burning the tzaros, a human effigy placed on top of a pile of brushwood.