Celebrations in Cyprus happen slightly later according to the Greek Orthodox Lent period unlike the Roman Catholic carnivals seen across the rest of Europe. The carnivals in Cyprus are somewhat different to other European destinations as it originates from Greece, as a means of paying tribute to the Greek God of Wine, which was then adapted into the Roman Catholic celebrations that are seen in other destinations.
The carnival in Limassol is the biggest in Cyprus, attracting huge crowds from all over the world to join the party. A traditional carnival-style event with dancing through the streets and a focus on indulgence of foods which cannot be enjoyed during the lent-period. The carnival in Limassol is free-entry all through the week, including the Grand Parade which closes the Carnival on the Sunday. Small local bands and groups perform, with plenty of entertainment for children too in parades and treasure hunts, all whilst dressed in bright traditional costumes.
During the carnival time Larnaca has some great concerts and acts to go see at the Municipal Theatre if you want to enjoy some traditional Cypriote entertainment. Whilst the musical acts focused on accordion performances may not be something you’ve ever seen before, the performances are guaranteed to be memorable and provide a side to Cyprus that most tourists miss out on. Larnaca is a slightly smaller town than Limassol so the celebration will be smaller with more focus on one-off events than the parade itself so perfect if you don’t want your holiday to be dominated by the Carnival without missing out on all the fun.
Images are kindly provided to us by the Limassol Tourism Board