Paniyiri Greek Festival Returns

From the archive: This post was published on our original site, MyCityLife back on 11 May 2014

Brisbane will officially go Greek for two days when the country’s longest-running Greek Festival arrives in Musgrave Park in two weeks! Paniyiri Greek Festival will be celebrating her 41st anniversary in a haze of flavour-filled BBQ smoke and the music of Zorba. You can expect a weekend of supreme Grecian merriment: απολαμβάνω!

Whenever Paniyri is mentioned, food is closely followed. Over 30 food stalls will showcase the tastes, recipes and secrets of food from all corners of Greece. The festival is expected to serve up more than 1,000 kilograms of calamari, 1,600 kilograms of grilled halloumi, 100,000 souvlakis and countless dolmades and honey puffs. For those looking to step it up a notch, you can enter the olive, honey puff and spaghetti eating competitions before taking part in some grape stomping and plate smashing.

This year we must also welcome the newest additions to the Paniyiri, The Plateia. Popping up next to the Greek Club, the sights smells and tastes will transport you to a traditional Greek Village including some amazing Cycladic architecture. Think of any picture you’ve ever seen of Santorini, and that is what you can expect: iconic blue window shutters and doors, narrow, paved streets, vine-covered pergolas, whitewashed walls and market stalls full of colour, flavours and characters.

If you’re looking for a place to try some authentic Greek food, then look no further than the Plateia. Stop by The Kafenio to grab a traditional Greek coffee and the Zaharoplasteio for some famous sweet loukoumades (aka, Honey Puffs!). The Psaro Taverna will be dishing up fresh seafood and meze platters while the Traditional Taverna will satisfy all the carnivores with a selection of lamb, pork and chicken cooked over coals and of course souvlaki. No food is complete without a drink to go with it, so make sure you pop over to the Ouzeri for some traditional Greek beers and wines while listening to the sounds from the bouzouki. You’ll also be able to grab yourself a Greek Mandili (a scarf for dancing, Grecian headpieces and jewellery from the market stalls.

There will be plenty of chorós on the day as well with the Paniyiri Main Stage hosting more than twenty hours of entertainment. Kick up your heels to the iconic Greek dances like Zorba, Sirto, Kalamantiano and Sousta performed to music played on traditional Greek instruments. Event highlights include the Hellenic Dancers, Greek Dancing with Stars, celebrity appearances including Aaron & Daniella from House Rules Queensland and Home & Away stars Ada Nicodemou and Penny McNamee.With that, we leave you with the 10 words you need to learn before Panyiri:

  • Yiasou: Hello and Goodbye
  • Barakalo: Please
  • Efharisto: Thank You
  • Kafe: Coffee
  • Opa: to celebrate, to show you are having a ball! (FYI Opa Opa Opa is the equivalent to Aussie Aussie Aussie!!)
  • Kali orexi: this is said before every meal and translates to Bon Appetite
  • Kalimèra: Good Morning
  • Arnáki: Lamb
  • Loukoumádes: Honey Puffs
  • ΧHoros: Dance

Plus, the three phases best not use at any time during the festival

  • I can’t eat another thing
  • I’m on a diet
  • I can’t dance

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Danica Voll
Harbouring an unhealthy addiction of watching too many dog videos, Danica is a lover of the great outdoors. While her greatest skill may be the ability to rap ‘Fergalicious’ perfectly, her inability to remember her left and rights has proven to be her greatest downfall in life. When she’s not on the beach or hiking up another mountain, you can expect to find her trying to satisfy her Tim-Tam addiction with surprise, suprise… another packet of Tim-Tams. It seems like no-one told her they aren’t a suitable daily breakfast.


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