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Greece in February 2014

What the traveler can expect in Greece in February 2014

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Float in Carnival parade, Patras

A float in Patras' Carnivale parade. Photo © Patras Municipality; used by permission

Patras Municipality
While changeable weather can dampen some travelers' spirits, the low prices and light crowds let the intrepid February visitor experience Greece the way Greeks do. Arts and cultural events aimed at Greek aficionados are plentiful, and the traveler has the chance to go skiing or snowboarding.

February 2nd marks the Greek Orthodox festival of Ypapanti, or Candlemas. This is the date when Christ is believed to have been presented by Mary to the temple. Churches named "Ypapanti" will have special celebrations, but all Greek Orthodox churches will mark the day with services. Most sites and businesses remain open, and the overall effect on travel is nil.

Valentine's Day on February 14th is not a big holiday in Greece, but like St. Patrick's day, some Greeks like the excuse for a special day with their boyfriend or girlfriend, and major hotels catering to American tourists may add a special dinner or two to commemorate the day.

For several days around February 20th, Ioannina vigorously celebrates the "Liberation of Ioannina", marking the time in 1913 when Ottoman rule ended. This is a charming city in the Epirus region of Greece, where some say the first Greek settlements were founded. If you visit, be sure to go to the ruins of Dodona, where an ancient oracle once stood.

Greek Carnival celebrations often get under way in February, and they do in 2014. The main Carnival weekend starts on the last day of February and continues into the first few days of March.

2014 Greek Carnival Dates

Triodion: Sunday, February 9th
Tsiknopempti or "Burnt Thursday": February 20th
Tsiknopempti Weekend: Friday, February 21st - Sunday, February 23rd
Main Carnival Weekend: Friday, February 28th - Sunday, March 2nd
Clean Monday: Monday, March 3rd

Quick Look at Greece in February

Mainland Weather: Usually cold and wet; snow in the mountains
Island/Coastal Weather: Cold, wet, windy. Sunny, pleasant days appear sporadically.
Prices: Low.
Events: Many arts events in Athens and Thessaloniki. Mardi Gras/Carnival can occur in February.
Facilities: Hotels and restaurants on many islands will still be closed. Ski season usually slows down, though the snows may be lingering and in some places, the season can extend till early April. Port visits by tender from cruise ships may be cancelled due to rough water.

More festival days and saints' days:

Local churches and villages named for these saints will invariably offer a commemoration of some sort, often including a public feast or other event.

February Name Days and Feasts
February 1st - St. Tryphon the Martyr
February 2nd - The Presentation of the Lord - Candlemas
February 3rd - Symeon and Annis Name Day; St. Symeon and St. Annis feast days.
February 6th - St. Photios
February 10th - St. Charalambos the Martyr; name day for Heraclia as well.
February 14th - St. Valentine's Day
Februray 16th - Name Day for Jeremy, Ieremias
February 17th - Feast Day for St. Theodor Tyron
February 18th - Name Day for Leon
February 23rd - Name Day for Polykarpos
February 27th - Name Day for Theodore

Want to remember someone with an e-card? Check out the free images available from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America at the "Iconograms" link above.

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