Easter is a major holiday here in Greece, something like our American Christmas. The hoopla leading up to Easter lasts about 6 weeks. Carnival is the last hurrah before the fasting of lent just before Easter. We spent the weekend before Clean Monday in Patras, Greece. The streets were crowded with people in festive gear - masks, feather boas, silly hats. Balloon vendors weilded giant colorful balloon bouquets. Street vendors lined the streets, as well as street performers and craft booths. The cobblestones were littered with scraps of confetti from the parties of the night before.
The atmosphere was festive and light and we enjoyed a delicious lunch at a local Taverna. Our waitresses were costumed as Dashing Pirates and Glittery Dancing Girls. We spoke to a knowledgable local Greek citizen who told us that the Carnival here in Patras, though one of the best in Greece - didn't compare at all to those in Northern Brazil. Could be - but we were suitably impressed anyway.