It’s one of these things that people tell you about but you have to see it with your own eyes to believe it.
Greece has an abundance of of beautiful traditions. This one, caught even us by surprise…
Knowing very little about this unique carnival tradition, we left Athens completely unprepared, thinking that this was going to be just another weekend away.
Well, we did not know that within a few hours we would be found in the middle of a day-long flour war of the whole city of Galaxidi going back more than 200 years. A bit about the tradition itself, before we put ourselves into the flour war.
The flour wars date back to the Ottoman occupation of the city when the locals in defiance of the their occupiers were painting their faces in coloured flour and celebrated Carnival.
For one day the whole of Galaxidi becomes the flour battlefield for anyone who wants and many who didn’t plan to…to take part.
All the city’s shops and restaurants barricade their doors and cover their facades with plastic sheets.
It all feels rather scary for someone who doesn’t know what to expect.. Everyone in the streets is either wearing an outfit seen only in crime lab scenes in CSI while mixing flour and paint or trying to find refuge anywhere off the main road. As you might have guessed by now, we were in the second group.
A small funny side note here is worth mentioning. The owner of the cafe where we found ourselves was a middle aged local man wearing a gas mask and locking the gates warning us to stay inside whatever happens.. Whatever happens???
Soon after, we realized what he meant. A cloud of flour of every colour arrived first. Then we witnessed a carnival parade like no other in the world. Let me try to describe what I mean.
Cars, or more accurately machines resembling cars from the past were driven and infested by 20-30 people at once covered in flour & literally painting the town white! The party went on for a while and left behind it paint, flour, a few disgruntled business owners, but above all the memory of a great fun day!
The photos do speak for themselves.
Next year, we promised ourselves, and now to all of you; we are going again and this time we are taking part , science lab costume, flour wars and all.