Festivals

 FESTIVALS

The framework of the calendar for festivals in Cyprus, is provided by the Greek Orthodox Church, which plays an important role in everyday life. There are many festivals throughout the year, which are important to both the young generation, as well as the older generation and their fore-fathers. Many of these festivals take place between Autumn and Spring, when the weather is warmer. Cyprus hosts many festivals including arts, historical, religious, cultural and sporting events, which have drawn crowds across Cyprus as well as internationally.

There are numberous important cultural events such as the Wine Festival, the Paphos Aphrodite Festival. Listed below are the various months in which these Festivals take place for residents and international vistiors.

 

JANUARY

January in Cyprus, ususally means SNOW. Although the snowfall is unpredictable, as soon as it is announced that the first snow has fallen on the Troodos Mountains, families head up for a day or two in the snow. When the snow is thick and good for skiing, ski-sets, snowboards and snow sledges can be hired at the various Ski stores for hours of family fun and laughter. For those who prefer not to ski, the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) arranges nature trails, viewing herbs, various plants and many other interesting sights, covered in snow along the trail.

 

MARCH – MAY

Carnival has arrived!

ITS CARNIVAL TIME!!!! Feasts, parties, parades, fancy-dress and CELEBRATIONS galore!! Around late February or the beginning of March, all depending on the dates of the Greek Orthodox Easter each year, there are 10 days of FUN, FUN, FUN! Carnival styel!

Carnival time is celebrated in every town, but traditionally the focus of this festival is in Limassol, having the most entertaining festival of all. The 1st carnival day is started with wonderful, decorated floats and lively celebrations through the streets and one float carries a special visitor – the King of the Carnival.

Festivity, numerious parties, parades and general laughter, happiness and lots of pictures taken by everyone on these next days that follow and on the last day of the Carnival (normally the Sunday), the King of the Carnival bids everyone adieu, a lively goodbye, happy farewell till the next year’s Carnival starts again.

Themes, costumes, even the spectators participate too, with streamers, noise, music and lots of laughter, spectacular displays are captured on video, camera’s and in everyone’s hearts. You have to visit the Carnival in Limassol, to experience this all yourself, build memories or participate in some of the craziest themes ever. Fun to be had by all, young and old.

The Anthestiria Festival

This festival is celebrated with flowers, for Spring. Parades of floats, each beautifully decorated with colourful, aromatic and fresh flowers, takes place in Larnaca along the magnificent palm tree sea front promenade – “The Phinikoudes”.  Traditionally this festival takes place each year in May and these festivities date back to ancient Greece. You cannot miss this festival, the beauty, the art, the colourful array of flowers arranged delicately around the floats, it is something to behold..

 

JUNE -JULY

These months June and July offer 4 incredible arts, cultural and music festivals, which will take your breath away.

 The European Dance Festival

The European Dance Festival is held annually  in Limassol ( the Rialto Theatre) and Nicosia (the Pallas Theatre) and highlights the European Arts and Culture scene. Workshops are held a the Limassol Municipal Dance Centre and 16 European countries unite for an extravaganza of contemporary dance, performances and inspirational workshops.

 The Larnaka Festival

The Larnaka Festival is one of Cyprus leading cultural festivals, featuring musical, theatrical and dances performed with many famous international artists.

 Cultural Week

Cultural Week – Mountain Villages in Limassol, is held to reawaken and remind everyone to keep the Cypriot Culture alive and this festival gives you an insighte of village life, their traditions, dances, music and lifestyle. Children always heard stories from their Yiayia’s (Grandmothers) about how things were done back in the day, in the villages, so this festival rekindles those memories and is an important way of seeing what we heard as children.

 Kourion’s Shakespeare Festival

Kourion’s Shakespeare Festival is held in the magnificent, accoustic Kourion Ancient Amphitheatre, which is still used today for local and international concerts and performances. Well known artists locally and internationally perform at this Amphitheater and what a majestic setting, an incredible accoustic venue, perfect especially in the Summer for these wonderful performances. But remember to bring your camera’s and camcorders, you will want to keep the memories lingering on, long after the concerts are over.

 

AUGUST -SEPTEMBER

These months August and September offer 6 incredible festivals, during the week sof the Summer Vaction here in Cyprus. The beaches are a bustle, everyone soaking up the wonderful sun, enjoying the incredible azure sea or for a cooler, breezier day, some head straight for Troodos Mountains. But during this time of Summer fun, you can enjoy festivals of music and dances, Ancient Greek playwriters theatre and concerts, family entertainment, wine tasting and grape harvesting, more singing and dancing, Carob harvesting. You can attend ballet, cinema or even opera right outside the Paphos Medieval Castle…  Read more…

 The Ayia Napa Festival

The Ayia Napa Festival is a lively event of traditional Cypriot dances and music and includes concerts and theatres with a cast of Cypriot and Greek, local and international artists. Lots of family entertainment too, all held in the beautiful, picturesque restort of Ayia Napa.

 The Commandaria Festival

The Commandaria Festival is where you visit the wine villages in the mountanous Kourris Valley and everyone celebrates the starting of the grape harvest, with tasting of this delicious, sweet wine name Commandaria. If you enjoy wine, you have to try Commandaria or else you can go to the next festival…

 The Limassol Wine Festival

The Limassol Wine Festival, which is held in Limassol town’s Municipal Gardens, along the sea-front near the old town. This festival is normally held at the end of August and first began in 1961, to help promote Cyprus wines. The festival celebrates the incredible and rich history of wine production on the Island and is enhanced with traditional Cypriot music, dancing, food and naturally unlimited supplies of wine to add to the incredible festivities. This is one of the largest festivals on the island as throughout the month of September the grapes are harvested and as each village completes their harvesting, festivities of dancing and singing can be heard and seen by all. During this month another very important crop is harvest, the Carobs or “the Black Gold of Cyprus” as it used to be known. Carobs were a rich, lucrative export product of Cyprus, but today only some are still exported. In the Anoyira Village in late September, the Pastelli Festival is held, to celebrate another successful harvest.

 International Festival of Ancient Greek Drama, Kypria Festival and Opera in Pafos

An internatioanl renowned cultural event known as the International Festival of Ancient Greek Drama is held in August in Paphos. Theatre performances are based on the ancient Greek playwriters.

Another significant Cultural event, the Kypria Festival takes place with both local and international artists and includes performances such as cinema, theatre, ballet, arts, opera and music.

Opera in front of the magnificent Pafos Medieval Castle, takes place 1 month after the Ancient Greek Drama Festival during September. This popular Autumn festival is one of the many highlight of the Cypriot cultural calendar where performances by well know international casts entertain classical opera lovers with passion, tragedy, love and magic.

Incredible Festivals, most of the year, wonderful sights, incredible entertainment, toe-tapping music, get-up-and-dance rhythms, majestic venues, delicious food and so much fun! Come and join us at a festival, or at them all if you can, you will not regret a single moment! Live Life, Love Cyprus!