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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 2017

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

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

Tuesday
February 14
7.00 p.m. Limassol Marina Square
The Limassol Municipality in collaboration with Limassol Marina incorporate the rhythms of Carnival into the city’s pulse. Enjoy a musical program by the Ariones Choir followed by a Limassol Majorettes’ show. A parade will follow with ending point the ΤΡΑΚΑΣΟΛ Cultural Centre for the inauguration of the “Limassol Carnival 2016” exhibition.

7.30 p.m. ΤΡΑΚΑΣΟΛ Cultural Centre at Limassol Marina The Limassol Municipality and the Cyprus Photographic Society – Limassol Branch, co-organise the Pancyprian Photographic Competition and Exhibition on the theme of “Limassol Carnival 2016”. The exhibition will also feature a selection of photographs from various Carnival events. Carnival costumes will be exhibited.
Opening Days & Hours:
Wednesday, Feb. 15, 10.00 a.m. - 1.00 p.m. & 3.00 p.m. - 7.00 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 16, 10.00 a.m. - 1.00 p.m.
The event will be held with the kind support of the ΤΡΑΚΑΣΟΛ Cultural Centre.

The Mayor Mr. Nicos Nicolaides will inaugurate the exhibition.

Theomaria Art Gallery

Wednesday
February 15

6.00 p.m.Town Hall
The Limassol Municipality and the Limassol Union of Self-Educated Painter coorganise an exhibition titled “Carnival 2017”. The Choir of the Kato Polemidia Municipality will participate.

7.00 p.m. Theomaria Art Gallery
(7, Vasilissis Karlottas & Elenis Paleologinas str.)
The Theomaria Art Gallery organises for the 11th consecutive year the carnival mask exhibition by Vera Efthimiou Parlalidou. Workshops on how to create and decorate ceramic and paper masks will be held from the 15th to the 25th of February.

The Mayor of Limassol Mr. Nicos Nicolaides will inaugurate the exhibitions.

The Limassol Serenaders will be singing at Saripolou Square.

Thursday
February 16
11.00 a.m.
Carnival fiestas in front of the Limassol Cooperative Savings Bank (Gladstonos street) and the Bank of Cyprus (Ayiou Andreou street).

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

5.30 p.m. Town Hall
The Mayor and the Municipal Council, accompanied by the Limassol Municipality Brass Band and the Limassol Majorettes will parade through the streets up to the Grigoris Afxentiou square.

5.30 p.m. Grigori Afxentiou Square

Grigori Agxentiou Square (in front of the District Office) comes alive and lures us into the Carnival rhythms with the help of the radio producer Marios Papadopoulos.

The party continues with the Lime & Sol group and the Batukinio percussion instruments group, inviting us to dance to the rhythm of salsa.

7.00 p.m. The Queen of the Carnival, “The Deep Blue of the Mediterranean” will enter the city accompanied by her entourage. The Queen will be surrounded by the Mayor and the members of the Municipal Council, the royal family, groups of Serenaders, the Limassol Municipality Brass Band, the Limassol 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 terminate at the Heroe’s square, where a party will take place to the sounds of the music group Ritmo di Carnaval.

Children’s Choirs – Pattihio Municipal Theatre
Friday
February 17
7.30p.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 Dreams' Choir.
Entrance: €5

The Municipality’s children’s train (donation of the Limassol Co-operative Savings Bank) will be touring around the city
Saturday
February 18
10.30a.m.
The Municipality’s children’s train (donation of the Limassol Co-operative Savings Bank) will be touring around the city. The first tour will take place at 10.30a.m. with the Epilogi Piccolo and Workshop Choir singing carnival songs. Other tours will follow.
Starting point: Limassol Co-operative Savings Bank (Gladstonos Street).

In the inner courtyard of the Limassol Cooperative Savings 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 (in front of the District Office Building)
The Limassol Municipality and the radio station Choice FM 104.3 co-organize a treasure hunt for the 9th consecutive year (for more information please call 25820820/ participations: www.choicefm.com.cy).

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

6.00 p.m. Serenaders’ Event at Hellenic Bank (52, Gladstonos str.)


The Hellenic Bank and the Limassol Serenaders, co-organize a festivity with 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.

7:30 p.m. Studio 8 School of Art & Design (22, Panou Solomonide 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 event will be preceded by Mr. Mimis Sophocleous, Academic and Scientific Director of the Limassol Historical Archive and the Mayor of Limassol, Mr. Nicos Nicolaides, who will commence the opening of the exhibition.

The Limassol Municipality revives a satirical float of the late artist and creator Costas Mavrogenis, built in 1968.

Visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy a photography exhibition of carnival floats.

Children’s Carnival Parade
Sunday
February 19
11.30 a.m. Children’s Carnival Parade
Starting Point: Sea front road (opposite Citizen Service Centre - close to the old port round about).
Ending: Municipal Garden (south entrance)

6.00 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.

The Giorgalletos Serenaders will be singing at Ayia Fyla quarter.
Monday
February 20
Serenaders at the Limassol neighbourhoods and quarters:
7.30 p.m. The Giorgalletos Serenaders will be singing at Ayia Fyla quarter.

Tuesday
February 21
Serenaders at the Limassol neighbourhoods and quarters:
7.30 p.m. The Cypriot Serenaders will be singing at Zakaki quarter.
7.30 p.m. The Monterni Keri Choir will be singing at the quarters of Apostolos Andreas and Ayios Ioannis.
7.30 p.m. The Edon Serenaders will be singing at Ayios Nicolaos quarter.

8.00 p.m. “Pellomaska” Parade
The Limassol Municipality in collaboration with the “Lemesos” newspaper are inviting you to join the “Pellomaska” Parade (crazy costume parade).
Starting Point: Heroes’ Square
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 three participants.
Limassol’s Tetrafonia
Wednesday
February 22
7.30 p.m. Limassol’s Tetrafonia
ΤΡΑΚΑΣΟΛ Cultural Centre at Limassol Marina
Carnival songs and serenades by the Limassol’s Tetrafonia (Four Voice Men’s Choir). The event is held with the kind support of the ΤΡΑΚΑΣΟΛ Cultural Centre.

8.30p.m. University Square (CUT)
The Limassol Municipality in collaboration with the radio stations Klik Fm and Choice Fm co-organize for the 4th consecutive year the carnival Big Street Party.

Evening Carnival Parade
Thursday
February 23
7.30 p.m. Evening Carnival Parade
Starting Point: Grigori Afxentiou Square (In front of the District Office Building).
Ending Point:Medieval Castle Square The Limassol Municipality in collaboration with the association “Friends of Limassol Carnival” co-organize an Evening Carnival Parade.

8.30 p.m. Carnival Ball at the Medieval Castle Square.
The Dreams' Choir and Elena Solea along with their orchestra invite you to sing and dance to the rhythms of popular carnival songs, followed by a DJ programme.
Free-style Carnival Costume Competition. Awards will be given to the best three participants.

Limassol Marina Square
Friday
February 24
7.00 p.m. Limassol Marina Square
The Limassol Municipality in collaboration with Limassol Marina organize a Serenaders’ evening with the participation of the Modernoi Keri Choir, the Limassol Serenaders, the Ariones Choir, the Cypriot Senenaders, the EDON Serenaders, the Choir of the Cultural Association of EAC Employees and the Yialloura Choir.
Route: Irinis street (in front of the Monterni Keri Cultural Group) – Medieval Castle Square – Limassol Marina Square

The Limassol Classic Cars Club will drive around the city in a carnival mood.
Saturday
February 25
10.30 a.m. The Municipality’s children’s train (donation of the Limassol Co-operative Savings Bank) will be touring around the city. On the first tour at 10.30a.m. the Epilogi Piccolo and Workshop Choir will be on board the train singing carnival songs. Other tours will follow.
Starting point: Limassol Co-operative Savings Bank (Gladstonos Street).

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: Grigori Afxentiou Square (In front of the District Office Building).

6.30 p.m. Serenaders’ Parade
Groups of Serenaders will gather at 6.00 p.m. in front of the Town Hall. At 6.30 p.m. they will start serenading, ending at the Grigori Afxentiou Square (In front of the District Office Building).

From 5.00 p.m. onwards the Georgia Protopapa’s Vocal Ensemble, the choir “Mousikes Periplanisis” and the Emmelia Choir will be singing at Grigori Afxentiou Square.
The Limassol Municipality invites you to sing and dance along with the Serenaders. Free wine will be offered.

Grand Carnival Parade
Sunday
February 26
Grand Carnival Parade
Archbishop Makarios III Avenue
Starting Point: Ayios Nikolaos Round About
Ending Point: Simillides Traffic Lights
1.00 p.m. The parade will begin with the Serenaders, the Limassol Majorettes of the Cyprus Girl Guides Association, the Batukinio percussion instruments group, the Limassol Majorettes, and the Limassol Municipality Brass Band.
1.15 p.m. The Parade will be led by the Queen of the Carnival, “The Deep Blue of the Mediterranean”, accompanied by a sea of floats and pedestrians. During the parade, former carnivalists will be honoured by the Limassol Municipality for their contribution to the Limassol Carnival.

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

9.00 p.m. Parade of Limassol Majorettes and Batukinio percussion instruments group – Marina Square
Starting point: Limassol Marina
Ending point: Old Port Square

CARNIVAL 2017
ARTICLE PHOTOS by: Sergey Galyonkin
SLIDE PHOTO by: Petros Karadjias
ARTICLE TEXT (CARNIVAL IN CYPRUS) by: Forum Private School
The programme is subject to unexpected changes. | For information: Cultural Services, Limassol Municipality | Tel. 25 745919