Cyprus Festivals
Cyprus Festivals
Cyprus Annual Events & Festivals
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Cyprus is the legendary birthplace of the goddess of beauty, love, sex and passion, the beautiful Aphrodite.
Limassol is the second biggest city and the major port of the island. It is located in the south coast of the island and lies between the ancient kingdoms of Curium and Amathus. East of the town one can find the tourist area with luxurious hotels close to the beach and a of variety restaurants, taverns, cafes and discos.
Nicosia is the capital of Cyprus and the largest city in the island. Its population is estimated to exceed the 150,000 people. Presidential and Archbishop's Palace as well as central government offices are housed in Nicosia. Also it houses all foreign Embassies. It is a modern European city and a busy commercial center with many local and international companies having their main offices here.
Places of interest : Cyprus Museum, Folk Art Museum, National Struggle Museum, Cyprus Handicraft Center, Archbishop's Palace, Venetian Walls.
Annual Events : Nicosia International Fair (May)
Larnaca is very closed to the island's main International Airport. It is a flourishing tourist resort with many hotels and hotel apartments at the east part of the city along the coastal road.
Places of interest : Pierides Museum, Saint Lazarus Church, Larnaca Promenade - 'Phinikoudes' (Palm Trees), Byzantine Church of Angeloktisti, Ancient Khirokitia.
Annual Events : 'Kataklysmos' Festival (June)
Paphos is a very popular tourist resort as it combines excellent hotels with a beautiful physical enviroment. It is closed to the second International Airport of Cyprus and has many interesting places to visit as it carries a long history from ancient times until today.
Places of interest : Tombs of the kings, Rock of Aphrodite, Mosaics (House of Dionysos and House of Theseus), Paphos Castle, Baths of Aphrodite, Palepaphos (Kouklia).
Dionysus, the god of vine and wine, can still find his ancient festivals celebrated on Cyprus
Since ancient times, Cypriot wine has been known as "a balm for the body" with extraordinary properties that promote a healthy body.

The 3,600 square mile island is blessed with sandy beaches, forested mountain interiors carpeted with flowers in the spring, quiet rural villages and a stylish capital - Nicosia. Seaside resorts ring the island from Ayia Napa in the east to Larnaka and Limassol in the south, and Paphos in the east.

Download The Limassol Carnival (February - March)
The Limassol Carnival is an essential institution and great tradition for the citizens of Limassol. The festival lasts for ten (10) days, filled with festive, amusing masquerading.  More about Carnival on Cyprus

"Anthestiria" - Flower Festival (May)
This festival takes place in May. "Anthestiria" were organised in Athens in honour of the God Dionysus, the divine protector of the theatre. They were also the festival of souls and plants celebrating the rebirth of man and nature. Nature beauty is celebrated during the flower festival. Nature’s beauty is celebrated in Limassol, with flower parades and exhibitions of plants and flowers.

"Kataklysmos" - Festival of the Flood (June) Limassol
Kataklysmos is a festival which takes place near the sea shore of Limassol, on the Sunday of the Pentecost and the Monday of the Holy Spirit. It is unique in its kind and has a paganistic character.
We don't know for certain what the origins of this festival were. A lot of people believe that kataklysmos originated from the ancient ceremonies in honour of Aphrodite and Adonis. The custom of throwing sea, river or lake-water at one another has prevailed both in areas near the sea and inland of Limassol.
On Sunday and Monday, a variety of dance and song competitions take place. Popular songs known as "chatista" are sung by different singing groups which complete each other.

Shakespearean nights (June)
The Shakespeare festival is a charity event annually organized by the Society for Chest Diseases at the ancient theatre of Curium.
There, Shakespeare’s plays are staged, in a fascinating environment in the open air theatre of Curium. The performances attract large audiences from Cyprus and abroad.

Anthestiria – Flower Festival (May)
The flower festival, which takes place during May, is a celebration of nature's beauty during spring, anthestiria derives from the Greek word anthos meaning flower. The origin of the Anthestiria goes back to ancient times, when festivals were organised in honour of god Dionysus, the divine protector of the theatre.

Kataklysmos - Festival of the flood (June)

Forty days after Easter, Limassol bursts into action celebrating the Kataklysmos, splashing each other with water, which is said to symbolise the purification of the body and soul. According to Greek mythology the celebrations are in honour of Aphrodite, Goddess of Love and Beauty, who it’s said was born at Petra tou Romiou, a series of rock formations off the south coast of Cyprus. The annual festival takes place near the sea shore of Limassol during June and adults and kids alike will find it very fun.

The Wine Festival (September)

During the first quarter of September, the great Wine Festival of Cyprus takes place in the Municipal Garden of Limassol, every evening between 8.00 hrs - 23.00 hrs. During the festival the visitor has the chance to taste some of the best Cyprus wines, which are offered free of charge. On some evenings, various groups from Cyprus and abroad perform folk dancing and there are also choirs and others.

Ancient Greek Drama Festival (July - August)
This cultural event is organized by the Cyprus Tourism Organization and the Cyprus Theatre Organization. Performances of ancient dramas and comedies are presented in Greek and are held in the ancient Theatre of Citrium, 19 km west of Limassol.

Limassol Wine Festival (August - September)
In ancient times, Greeks would have spectacular celebrations dedicated to Dionysus, the God of Wine, and Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love and Beauty. The Limassol Wine Festival is today’s equivalent to the ancient celebrations dedicated to them. The first wine festival was organised in 1961 offering to Cypriots and visitors a taste of Cypriot wine and a fun, comfortable atmosphere. Some 15,000 visitors come each year to taste, free of charge, an assortment of wines, to enjoy the warm atmosphere, feast on delicious local dishes and be entertained by local dancers, songs and plays.
 The festival has been an annual event since then, offering free wine, Cypriot food, traditional music and dancing, attracting thousands of Cypriots and visitors alike. The host City, Lemesos (Limassol) is also the center of the biggest grape-producing region of Cyprus and there is much participation by wineries of KEO, SODAP, LOEL and ETKO.

Since 1962 the emblem of this festival is the giant replica of a Cypriot vine grower in his traditional local costume, and his slogan “Drink wine, it gives you life”.

CYPRUS HISTORY: On the doorstep of Asia only 76 miles Syria, 43 miles from Turkey and 270 miles from Rhodes. Its shape and situation have made it a natural target. Cyprus has been a gateway to the eastern Mediterranean for 10,000 years, ever since it was first settled by Anatolian tribes. Since then, it has been fought over by the Ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Romans, Venetians, the Ottomans and the British.  Sailors have long prized its fertility and ability to defend.

 The Eteocyprians in their early days had worshipped a goddess of fertility. When the Greeks came this figure was transformed into their goddess of love, Aphrodite. Apollo was also worshipped but Aphrodite became a kind of patron saint of the island with sanctuaries dedicated to her in every corner and her temple in old Paphos became famous throughout Greece. She became associated with Cyprus so much that the legend was born of Paphos as her birthplace, where she first rose from the sea and festivals were held in her honor.

When the Romans came later they continued the worship of Aphrodite under the Roman name of Venus. They rebuilt the temple at Paphos and produced coins of it which circulated round the Mediterranean Cyprus and Aphrodite amalgamated and Cyprus was called the "Island of Aphrodite".

In 1960 Cyprus became an independent country after many adventures and occupations and was later admitted to the U.N. and became a member of the British Commonwealth and of the Council of Europe.

The complicated constitutional provisions were such that difficulties immediately arose in the functioning of the state.
On December 21, 1963, fighting broke out in Nicosia and later to the rest of the Island between the communities of Greeks and Turks which make up the main population of Cyprus. In August 1964 the Turkish Air Force bombed Greek Cypriot patrol boats and villages in Tylliria and Turkey threatened to invade the Island in defense of the Turkish Cypriots. In July 1974 Turkey invaded Cyprus and occupied 37% of the extent of Cyprus. update

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Paphos International  

  • Postal address: Paphos
  • Telephone: +357 6 801800
  • Fax: +357 6 940531
  • Location: 8mls/13kms East of Paphos
  • Transportation to city centre Bus: available. Taxi: fare CYP 5, journey time 15 mins
  • Airlines: Air 2000, Cyprus Airways, El Al Israel Airlines, Finnair, Hapag Lloyd, IRS Aero, KLM-Royal Dutch Airlines, Transaero Airlines.
  • Airport tax: None
  • Terminals: One
  • Flight information: tel 422833/801810, available 24 hours

 Larnaca International

  • Postal address: P.O. Box 3001, Larnaca

  • Telephone: +357 4 630700

  • Fax: +357 4 630707

  • Location: 5mls/8kms South of Larnaca

  • Transportation to city centre Bus: service 19/22/24, every 60 mins Mon-Fri, fare CYP 0.35, journey time 15 mins. Taxi: fare CYP 3, journey time 15 mins

  • Airlines: Aeroflot Russian Airlines, Aeroflot-Don, Aerosvit Airlines, Air 2000, Air Berlin, Air Malta, Air Moldova, Air Slovakia, Alitalia, Armenian Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Balkan, Belavia, British Airways, Condor Flugdienst, Cyprus Airways, Czech Airlines, Eastern Ukranian Airlines, Egyptair, El Al Israel Airlines, Emirates, Finnair, Gulf Air, Hapag Lloyd, IRS Aero, Iran Air, JAT, KLM-Royal Dutch Airlines, Kuwait Airways, L.T.U International Airways, LOT-Polish Airlines, Libyan Arab Airlines, Lufthansa, MALEV, MEA, Olympic Airways, Palestinian Airlines, Royal Jordanian, SABENA, SAS, SWISSAIR, Samara Airlines, Syrian Arab Airlines, TAROM.

  • Airport tax: None

  • Terminals: One

  • Flight information: tel 630799, available 24 hours


The Limassol Carnival 
of Cyprus in
the Cheerful City on the South Coast

Entrance parade of the King Carnival in Limassol. Mayiorettes at the Limassol Carnival.

While all of Cyprus celebrates Carnival with fancy dress and parties, there is no City which approaches the spectacle Limassol annually presents. The Apokreo  festival  begins two weeks before the 50 day Greek Orthodox Lenten period which occurs later than the Roman Catholic pre Easter period. Some trace the customs back to Greek times although the customs are now all their own. 

The first week is called the Meat Week (Kreatini), as it is the last week for eating meat before Easter. The second week is known as the cheese week (Tyrini), when cheese and other dairy products may be consumed.

Carnival festivities begin on the Thursday of the Meat Week, and the day is known as Tsiknopefti, gaining its name from the unmistakable aromas of the meat cooking. The festival starts with the entrance parade of the King Carnival, entering the town which is decorated for the occasion. 

The first of the two Sundays is the 
Children's Parade
and then the serenaders with their melodic guitars and mandolins become the focus of much of the Carnival.  These serenaders will wander the streets on foot enchanting young and old alike. Many fancy-dress balls and parties take place at hotels each night.

 Parties are held and people gather to feast, sing satirical songs and play games. The last Sunday of the Cheese Week is the highlight of the Carnival. This is when the Grand Carnival Parade takes place on the last Sunday of the Carnival Festivities before 
Green Monday or the first day of lent. 

Colorful floats and groups of people, singing and dancing, parade in the main roads of Limassol creating a truly festive atmosphere. The open-air celebrations and feasting  take place throughout Cypriot towns but the  Grand Parade in Limassol is the peak focus of the Carnaval. During the Carnival parade large crowds from all over the island gather to watch the floats accompanied by the serenaders and other amazing  costumed groups.  

During the cheese or Tyrini week of carnival look out for seasonal specialties such as pastry bourekia filled with mint flavor cheese and ravioli. Also sticky sweetmeats such as daktyla and kandaifi.  Many Cypriots will pack a picnic on Green Monday and head for the countryside where their picnic feast will include vegetables, olives, bread and salad and local wines.

These customs date back to ancient times with a particular nod to the days when Dionysus ruled the Mediterranean as a deity of mystery and wine.  With the passage of time it has acquired a different, purely entertaining character, with a large, popular following.  During the Carnival parade there will be many  serenaders and other masqueraded groups. Also make an effort to attend a fancy-dress ball at a hotel as part of your Carnaval experience

"For a double Carnival whammy, note that the Orthodox Church calculates Easter differently, resulting in Carnival celebrations in Greece and Cyprus being a month later than the others (March 8–17). Cyprus is rapidly becoming one of the hottest party destinations for young Europeans, mainly thanks to the hedonistic beachlife on offer at the resort of Ayia Napa."
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