The second month of the year is dominated by the festive season leading up to Lent. Most towns and villages in Messinia hold their own celebrations and visitors are more than welcome to join in the fun.February 2
Presentation of Christ (Ypapanti)The Ypapanti of Christ is the day when the infant Jesus was taken by Mary and Joseph to the temple at Jerusalem and was presented to Symeon as the Savior. The focal points are the procession, with the icon of the Virgin Mary, and the trade fair.
The Carnival is celebrated boisterously with fancy dress, feasting, drinking, dancing and a certain loosening of inhibitions. Many scholars maintain that this three-week celebration has its origins in pagan festivities in honor of the half-man, half-goat deity of fertility, Pan.Nedousa Carnival
The most popular Carnival events are held in Nedousa. A multitude of performances and folk happenings transform the whole village into an elaborate and vibrant stage set. People dressed in animal skins, their faces blackened with coal dust and with bells hanging from their necks, reenact local traditions symbolizing fertility and good luck.Penultimate Thursday of Carnival
Barbecue Thursday (Tsiknopempti)
Apokreas in Greek (Carnevale in Latin) means abstaining from meat and preparing for the fasting period before Easter. It is within this holiday spirit that we have the custom of “pig slaughtering” in Messinia, when every home slaughters an animal the day before Tsiknopempti. Residents then smoke the meat and the sausages, which they will later preserve. To this day it is a custom to go out on Tsiknopempti and take in the aroma and taste of grilled meat, drink some wine, and leave one’s worries behind.Last Sunday of Carnival
Wine festival at Maganiako
A celebrated wine festival is held each year in the village of Maganiako, in the Municipality of Androussa. In the village of Mathias, in the Municipality of Petalidi, locals celebrate a carnival feast with the re-enactment of a traditional wedding.Last Sunday of Carnival
The carnival of Messini
The glendi (celebration) begins on Tsiknopempti, when all the people are in the street and the wine flows freely. The feast is dedicated to Bekris (drunkard) who is considered to have been a real person. On Sunday, according to tradition, men dress as women, and there is a big parade and many events. This custom dates to the years of the Ottoman occupation in Greece, when the inhabitants would change their clothes to visit each other’s house.