Lassaneia is one of the leading and longest standing cultural institutions of the city and the wider area of Western Macedonia. Its events combine the view with the creation, entertainment with reflection, the tradition with the modern. Their main purpose is to entertain, as well as to provide a form of expression to the local artistic creation.
Α folk custom event that takes place in the villages of the Municipality of Kozani. It is a part of the spring rituals for the regeneration of Nature that has been linked to the Christian faith and the resurrection of Lazarus, which heralds the resurrection of Christ. Women walk around the houses of the villages, singing and sharing Lazarus-pie and heralding the fruitfulness of Nature along with the second coming of Christ.
The Carnival in Kozani
The Carnival in Kozani “Kozanitiki Apokria” is a form of rural carnival with pagan origins, which aims at subverting the status quo, as it questions values, hierarchies and the limits of actions and words. Like all worshiping customs connected to the passage of time, and mostly the passage from winter to spring, it is incredibly enduring as it is connected to the continuity of Life. At the same time however, the Carnival never ceases to be an entertaining celebration, a combination of festivity and delight.
Nowadays it lasts for twelve days, starting on ‘Tsiknopempti’ and ending on Clean Monday. During those days, the Carnival is being enriched with a variety of happenings. Outdoor daily feasts at Fanoi, a parade of floats, as well as dancing and improvised theatricals in the main square. Brass bands wander through the city streets, lifting the spirits of the locals and visitors, partying in the crowded bars and clubs. There is also a children’s carnival parade, the famed Sourd Games that involve a peculiar treasure hunt for kids and finally a huge Saturday night Youth Party in the main square, the night before the big Carnival Parade, to the pleasure of the thousands of visitors flocking the city center on that day.
The heart and main point however in the Carnival of Kozani remains the custom of the ‘Fanoi”. They are celebratory bonfires that have been lit through many centuries in several neighborhoods of the city, a proof that they are rooted deep inside the hearts of the people of Kozani, who cannot conceive the Carnival without them.