Cyprus anual events – Anthestiria

Considering the rich cultural heritage of Cyprus, we should take the time to talk a bit about the various festivals and events that take place there throughout the year. This will most likely be a longer series of ongoing articles, since we can’t talk about everything all at once.

Anthestiria

This is the Cypriot celebration of spring’s return, it takes place in the month of May and it means, the Flower Festival. Modern-day Anthestiria is inspired by an ancient festival that was held in Athens to honor Dionysus – for those who are not up to date with their Greek mythology, Dionysus being the god of wine and fertility, two things which oddly tend to go together. The ancient festival was also a carnival of souls, plants and flowers which celebrated life with the re-birth of nature.

The present-day festival of Anthestiria has a very similar theme to that of the ancient version of the festival, with the word ‘anthestiria’ coming from the word ‘anthos’ which means ‘flower’ in Greek.

It should be noted that flower-related festivals and events are organized in many cities and villages as part of Anthestiria, and the event features all manner of exhibitions, flower markets and shows. The main attraction and focus of the Anthestiria festival is the flower parade which features a plethora of beautifully decorated floats and pedestrians with flowers.

The Anthestiria event in Limassol are usually held in the center of the tourist area of Yermasoyia, while in Paphos the main venue tends to be the coastal part of the old harbor of Kato Paphos; in Larnaca for instance the seafront promenade is the focus of the flower show.

This is just one of the many more Cypriot events that we’ll be talking about, me sure to keep a close eye on our website.