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Limassol Carnival




Carnival in Cyprus | History

Carnival was being celebrated in ancient Greece. Celebrations were being organized in honor of god Dionissos. Ancient Greeks got dressed in various costumes, wore masks and had fun in feasts for days. Cypriots kept this custom. The origin of Carnival traces back to the very past and is closely linked with the history of the Greeks.

It seems that it is a festivity related to classical antiquity: the Dionysian festivals called “Dionysian”, during which a contest was taking place amongst three great tragedians of ancient Greece: Aeschylus, Euripides and Sophocles, three dramatists of our history. In ancient times, as far as we know and fromwhat we read , the actors used to wear masques during the dramatic spectacles and comedic performances. It is obvious that the modern way of disguising oneself during the carnivals festivities derives from this habit.

Carnival in Cyprus was associated with the beginning of the fasting of Easter. Carnival was called “Apokries” which means in Greek “without meat”. It was celebrated with feasts and traditional games. In addition, people got dressed in costumes and wore masks in order to scare others.

Just like many other festivities and cultural traditions, Cypriot carnival celebrations actually date back to the beginning of the last century, when homes in Limassol opened their doors and welcomed round friends and family for a feast of food and wine. Limassol holds the largest annual carnival in the island of Cyprus. The Limassol Carnival is an important institution: a tradition for the Limassolians, which remains alive and will survive throughout times.

The Limassol Carnival is however a feast that all of us expect to enjoy impatiently and willingly. It was celebrated in an organized way since the past, when groups of merrymakers from all the social strata of the city organized in their houses meetings and organized parades using donkeys, carriages, broughams and bikes. People of that area felt a vast satisfaction watching their fellow citizens disguised satirizing situations, persons and various things directly or indirectly linked with everyday life and the reality of their times.

Carnival is celebrated in towns all over Cyprus, but especially in the city of Limassol. In our days carnival events start on the “Shrove Thursday” (the last of eating meat) with the Carnival King entering the town in a festive atmosphere. Then follows, the children's parade, the various Serenades' shows and finally the Grand Carnival Parade which takes place on the last Sunday of the Carnival festivities.

Many people in fancy dresses participate to enjoy a special razzledazzle. Special consideration has been given to the decoration of the town. All the places where festivities are planned, as well as the central key points of the town, are decorated in an as ingenious way as possible.

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 “Green Monday ” or the first day of lent.

Colourful floats and groups of people, singing and dancing, parades in the main roads of Limassol create 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 Carnival. During the Carnival parade large crowds from all over the island gather to watch the floats accompanied by the serenades and amazing costumed groups.

Limassol Carnival 2018

CARNIVAL 2017 16/2 – 26/2/2017 PROGRAM

Event Schedule for the Limassol Carnival 2018

05/2 – 18/2

Monday, February 5
7.00 p.m. - TRAGASOL Cultural Centre
The Limassol Municipality and the Cyprus Photographic Society – Limassol Branch, co-organises the photographic exhibition titled “Limassol Carnival 2017”. The exhibition will also feature a selection of photographs from various Carnival events. Enjoy a musical program with a show from the “Limassol Mazorettes”. Carnival costumes will be exhibited. The event will be held with the kind support of the ΤΡΑΚΑΣΟΛ Cultural Centre.

Opening Days & Hours:
6/2/2018: Tuesday 10.00 a.m. - 1.00 p.m. & 3.00 p.m. - 6.00 p.m.
7/2/2018: Wednesday 10.00 a.m. - 1.00 p.m. & 3.00 p.m. - 6.00 p.m.

Theomaria Art Gallery

Wednesday, February 7

7.00 p.m. - Theomaria Art Gallery, (7, Vasilissis Karlottas & Elenis Paleologinas str.)
The Theomaria Art Gallery organises for the 12th consecutive year a carnival mask exhibition by Vera Efthimiou Parlalidou with ceramic and paper masks. The exhibition will be held from the 8th to the 28th of February. With the participation of the “Limassol Serenaders”.


Thursday, February 8

11.00 a.m.
Carnival fiestas in front of the Cyprus Cooperative Bank Gladstonos str., Hellenic Bank (Gladstonos str.) and Bank of Cyprus Ayiou Andreou str.

12.30 p.m.
The “Limassol Serenaders” will be singing at Saripolou Square.

5.00 p.m. - Grigoris Afxentiou Square (in front of the District Office)
Grigoris Afxentiou Square comes to life and lures us into the Carnival rhythms. The party continues with the “Latino Touch” group and the Batukinio percussion instruments group that will take us away to the rhythm of salsa. A group of aerial acrobats will add a special note to the event.

5.45 p.m. - Town Hall
The Limassol Municipality and the Limassol Union of Self-Educated Painters co-organise an exhibition titled “Carnival 2018”. With the participation of the Kato Polemidia Municipality Choir.

6.15 p.m. - Town Hall
The Mayor and the Municipal Council, accompanied by the Limassol Municipality Brass Band, the Majorettes of the Cyprus Girl Guides Association and the Limassol Majorettes will parade through the streets up to the Grigoris Afxentiou square.

7.00 p.m.
The King and Queen of the Carnival will enter the city accompanied by their entourage. The Royal Couple will be surrounded by the Mayor and the members of the Municipal Council, the Royal Family, the EDON Serenaders, the Ariones Choir, the Limassol Municipality Brass Band, the Majorettes of the Cyprus Girl Guides Association, the Batukinio percussion instruments group and the Limassol Majorettes.
The parade will set off from Grigoris Afxentiou Square (in front of the District Office Building) and will pass through the following streets: Anexartisias, Ayiou Andreou, Karaiskaki (Municipal Library), Stasinou and Andrea Drousioti streets and will end up at the Heroe’s square, where a party will take place to the sounds of the music group “Ritmo di Carnaval”.

The Limassol Serenaders will be singing at Saripolou Square.


Friday, February 9
7.00 p.m. Medieval Castle Square
The Modernoi Keri Choir, the “Limassol Serenaders”, the Ariones Choir, the EDON Serenaders, the Choir of the Cultural Association of EAC Employees and the male vocal ensemble “Ilandron” will be singing at the Medieval Castle square. Route: Irinis street (in front of the Monterni Keri Cultural Group) – Medieval Castle Square

Children’s Choirs – Pattihio Municipal Theatre
Saturday, February 10
10.30 a.m. - Cyprus Cooperative Bank (Gladstonos str).
The Municipality’s children’s train (donation of the Cyprus Cooperative Bank) will be touring around the city. The first tour will take place at 10.30a.m. Other tours will follow on a first-come first-served basis. In the inner courtyard of the Cyprus Cooperative Bank, the Municipality of Limassol will be operating a workshop on confetti eggs made of wax as well as a crazy mask workshop.

11.00 a.m. – 2.00p.m. - Grigoris Afxentiou Square (District Administration Building)
The Limassol Municipality and the radio station Choice FM 104.3 co-organize a treasure hunt for the 10th consecutive year (for more information please call 25-820820/ participations: www.choicefm.com.cy).

3.00 p.m. - The Limassol and Tochni Cycling Clubs will cycle in a carnival mood around the city. Starting and Ending Point: Medieval Castle Square.

6.00 p.m. – Serenaders at the Municipal University Library Ayiou Andreou str.
The Limassol Municipality with the “Limassol Serenaders” co-organize a festivity with the serenades and carnival songs with the participation of the EDON Serenaders, the Moderni Keri Choir, the Ariones Choir and the Limassol Serenaders. Free drinks will be offered.

8.00 p.m. - Studio 8 School of Art & Design 22, Panos Solomonides str.
The Limassol Municipality and Studio 8 School of Art & Design invite everyone to join the event “Revival of the old Limassol Carnival days”. The Limassol Municipality revives two emblematic satirical floats by the late artist and creator Costas Mavrogenis, built in 1969 and 1972. With the participation of the male vocal ensemble “Ilandron”. Visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy a photography and maquette exhibition of carnival floats.

The Municipality’s children’s train (donation of the Limassol Co-operative Savings Bank) will be touring around the city
Sunday, February 11

11.30 a.m.
Children’s Carnival Parade
Starting Point: Sea front road, Municipal Garden traffic lights.
Ending: 2nd seafront parking lot – next to “Red” café. The parade will be preceded by the Royal Couple and the Limassol Majorettes of the Cyprus Girl Guides Association

12.30 p.m.
Carnival Party for Children at the Old Port Square
The Limassol Municipality and the Cyprus Ports Authority co-organizes a carnival party for children with a DJ, stilt walkers, jugglers, mascots, carousel and many more.

6.30 p.m.
Serenaders’ Event in front of the Perama Music Stage
Songs by the Georgalletos Serenaders. The event is dedicated to the memory of the founder of the group Giorgos Georgalletos.

Children’s Carnival Parade
Monday, February 12
7.30 p.m.
The Georgalletos Serenaders will be singing at Ayia Fyla quarter.


The Giorgalletos Serenaders will be singing at Ayia Fyla quarter.
Tuesday, February 13
7.30 p.m.
The Cypriot Serenaders will be singing at Zakaki quarter.

7.30 p.m.
The Edon Serenaders will be singing at Ayios Nicolaos quarter.

8.00 p.m.
Evening “Pellomaska” Parade
The Limassol Municipality in collaboration with the “Lemesos” newspaper are inviting you to join the evening “Pellomaska” Parade (crazy costume parade).
Starting Point: Municipal University Library (Ayiou Andreou str.).
Ending Point: Medieval Castle Square

8.30 p.m.
Tuesday’s Carnival Fiesta at the Medieval Castle Square
People of all ages are invited by the Limassol Municipality to attend the event disguised and participate in a great carnival spree with music and dancing. Free-style Carnival Costume Competition – Awards will be given to the best 3 participants.

Limassol’s Tetrafonia
Wednesday, February 14
7.30 p.m. TRAGASOL Cultural Centre
Carnival songs and serenades by the Limassol’s Tetrafonia (Four Voice Men’s Choir).

9:00 p.m. - Enaerios Parking Space
Carnival Fiesta for the ones in Love and Carnival Costume competition dedicated to Valentine’s Day.

Evening Carnival Parade
Thursday, February 15
7.30 p.m.
Evening Carnival Parade
The Limassol Municipality in collaboration with the association “Friends of Limassol Carnival” co-organizes an Evening Carnival Parade with the participation of the Batukinio percussion instruments group and the Limassol Majorettes. Starting Point: Grigoris Afxentiou Square (in front of the District Administration Building). Ending Point: Medieval Castle Square

8.30 p.m.
Carnival Ball at the Medieval Castle Square.
The Dreams' Choir and Elena Solea along with an orchestra under the direction of Constantinos Zorbas invite you to sing and dance to the rhythms of popular carnival songs. Free-style Carnival Costume Competition with awards for the best 3 participants.

Limassol Marina Square
Friday, February 16
7.30 p.m.
Children’s Choirs Pattihio Municipal Theatre
Evening of serenades and carnival songs by the Children's Choir of the Papadakion Municipal School of Music, the Music Workshop, Children's Choir and Piccolo of Epilogi, the Armonia Choir and the children's choirs of “Melodies kai Chromata” and the Dreams' Choir.
Entrance: €5
The Limassol Classic Cars Club will drive around the city in a carnival mood.
Saturday, February 17
10.30 a.m.
Cyprus Cooperative Bank (Gladstonos str.)
The Municipality’s children’s train (donation of the Cyprus Cooperative Bank) will be touring around the city. The first tour will take place at 10.30a.m.. Other tours will follow on a first-come first-served basis.

3.00 p.m.
The Limassol Classic Cars Club will drive around the city in a carnival mood.
Starting point: Enaerios Parking Place. Ending point: Grigoris Afxentiou Square.

6.30 p.m.
Serenaders’ Parade Groups of Serenaders will gather at 6.00 p.m. in front of the Limassol Town Hall. At 6.30 p.m. they will parade towards the Grigoris Afxentiou Square (in front of the District Office Building). From 5.00 p.m. onwards the Georgia Protopapa’s Vocal Ensemble and the choir “Mousikes Periplanisis” will be singing at Grigoris Afxentiou Square.
Free wine will be offered.

Grand Carnival Parade
Sunday, February 18
Grand Carnival Parade
Archbishop Makarios III Avenue

Starting Point: Ayios Nikolaos Round About, Ending Point: Polemidia Traffic Lights (Fairways)

1.00 p.m.
The parade will be preceded by the Limassol Municipality Brass Band, the Limassol Majorettes of the Cyprus Girl Guides Association, the Batukinio percussion instruments group and the Limassol Majorettes.

1.15 p.m.
The Parade will be led by the King and Queen of the Carnival, accompanied by a sea of floats and pedestrians.

9.00 p.m.
Farewell Carnival Fiesta – Old Port Square The Carnival will end with a Carnival Party at Old Port Square. Free style Carnival Costume Competition – Awards will be given to the best three participants.

CARNIVAL 2017
The schedule is subject to unexpected changes. | For information: Cultural Services, Limassol Municipality | Contact number: 25 745 919
ARTICLE PHOTOS by: Sergey Galyonkin
SLIDE PHOTO by: Petros Karadjias
ARTICLE TEXT (CARNIVAL IN CYPRUS) by: Forum Private School