"Unique" Greek ancient traditions.

The "Dirty Monday" festival in Tyrnavos.

In ancient times the Dionysian revels were very lewd. Dominant elements in these customs are the phallus symbols and satire, which centres on local events. Every year in ancient Athens, a huge phallus was taken around the city at the Greater Dionysia, and similar processions were held in many other cities. This phallic aspect of the revels has been preserved most enthusiastically in Tyrnavo.

The “Dirty Monday” festival in Tyrnavos is one of the most famous carnivals in Greece. Faithful to the old traditions, the people of Tyrnavos still honour the god Dionyssus with various festivities. Perhaps the most obviously pagan of these is found under the misleading name 'cooking the bourani', a vegetable soup, which is served on Ash Monday every year and brings a lot of Greek and foreign tourists in the area. During the cooking of the soup, the "bourani people" do a lot of teasing with phallic symbols, while phallic objects are paraded through the town. Unabashedly phallic, this carnival celebration in Tyrnavos is wild fun. There are people against it, but the Festival has come through, and every year, on Ash Monday, the town of Tyrnavos is jam-packed with fun-loving participants and spectators. People of all ages, women and men, Greeks and foreigners, participate and enjoy themselves.

The Festival began centuries, if not millennia, ago. While it is a bit absurd, history is full of festivals associated with fertility symbols. Some archaeologists think that fertility rites are one of the oldest forms of religious rites in Greece.

and see the YOUTUBE video of the happenings at Tyrnavos' "Mpourani" festival, and

Here to see the YOUTUBE video of the happenings at the Carnival of Kozani.

How to Get There: You can go to Tyrnavos by public bus via Larissa or get the train to Larissa and the bus from Larissa to Tyrnavos. The trip is difficult due to the bad connection times and this is one of the reasons that we have decided to plan the one, two days & three days excursions to the region of Thessaly.

2009 "Dirty Monday" is on March 02.

The tours are organised for groups of 5 - 45 people.

  • a one day excursion to Tyrnavos leaving Athens early Monday morning,
  • a two day tour to Meteora and Tyrnavos. Departure on Sunday. Overnight in Kalambaka.
  • a three days tour for the Carnival at Kozani and Tyrnavos.

If you are interested to take part let us know and we shall contact you in due time.

"With us you're NEVER on your own"

Add the "bourani feast" at Tyrnavos to my favourites to remember and visit Greece February next year.
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Since January 24th, 2010
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