The Patras Carnival (Patrino Karnavali) is the largest event of its kind in Greece and one of the biggest in Europe. It has more than 180 years of history. The events begin on 17 January and last up to Clean Monday. The carnival of Patras is not a single event but a variety of events that includes balls, parades, hidden treasure hunt and the children's carnival amongst others. It climaxes in the last weekend of Carnival with the Saturday evening parade of carnival groups, the extravagant Sunday parade of floats and groups, and finally the ritual burning of the carnival king at the St. Nikolaos Street pier in the harbour of Patras. Its characteristics are spontaneity, improvisation, inspiration and volunteerism.