Customs & Traditions

Carnival in Greece: GAITANAKI (dance)
Everything that Catches our Eyes |

GAΪTANAKI
by Valentina Velikova

Gaitanaki is a traditional Greek dance that we dance during the carnival. It is a colourful and funny dance!

We need 13 people for this dance! One person is holding a wooden pole with 12 ribbons hanging from its top. The ribbons have different colours and every person is holding a ribbon.

When the music begins, the dancers move towards the pole, go under the other dancer’s ribbon, move far from the pole and then towards the pole again! A colourful braid is created on the pole when the dance finishes.

This dance is a symbol of the circle of life. We move from happiness to sadness, from winter to spring, from life to death and the opposite!

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