Carnival in Crete

The camel

Camel Custom
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On the days of carnival (Net Monday) in several villages of Crete revive several customs and traditions, such as that of the Camel. The Camel consists of two people who are covered with clothes and ornaments forming the shape of a camel. This is driven by the camel man in the village alleys. The camel man paints his face black and is dressed in clothes, reminding of an Arab.

Throughout the course the camel man gives commands and orders to the camel trying to lead her where he wants. But the camel is disobedient and thus the camel man hits it with a stick and swears it. The custom of the Camel symbolizes the reaction and admiration of the Cretans when they first saw camels in Crete, brought by the Arab conquerors.

The custom of Camel revives in the villages of Gerani near Rethymno, Meronas and Kaina, with some minor variations.

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