Halloween in Greece

pumpkinWith Halloween just three days away, pretty much everyone in the world is racing to get the perfect outfit and to find a party to attend. We know about the American holiday and customs and many European countries have adopted the holiday… but, how about the Greeks?

Do Greeks celebrate Halloween? Until recently, Halloween wasn’t heard of in Greece. Even now, mainly the expatriate community organizes Halloween events although there’s nothing spectacular about it. Exceptions do exist though. For example, hostels do organize Halloween events, especially for the tourists.

Instead, Greeks celebrate a similar event: the Carnival, which takes place in February before Lent in the Greek Orthodox Church. It is called Apokries (or Apokrias). This event is all about dressing up and having fun… much like Halloween is for the rest of the world. Kids dress up and call anonymously at the houses of friends and neighbors, who try to guess their identities. And yes, they also get treats (cakes and sweets, usually). Adults have fun as well, typically dressing up and going for a drink in bars.

Carnivals are held all over Greece but the largest and most famous of them take place in Patras . Large parades are held in Athens and Crete .

Oh and just in case you do want to celebrate Halloween with some… pumpkins, here is the recipe for Greek Pumpkin Pie (Kolokythopita).

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