Cyprus festivals 1

There are many Cyprus festivals that take place throughout the calendar year, celebrating both religious events as well as not-so religious ones.

In the month of January there’s the Greek Orthodox celebration of the Ephiphany, also known as Kalanda, which takes place throughout the island. This is one of the most important celebrations in the Orthodox calendar, sometimes referred to as the Feast of the Light, it commemorates the baptism of Christ and symbolizes the rebirth of man.

There’s an entire tradition around demons that appear on Christmas Day to play evil trick on people for the following twelve days; then on the 5th of January, believers congregate in church to bless the waters and priest visit each house to cleanse them with the blessed water of spirits and demons.

On Epiphany Day there’s a special liturgy held, after which a procession makes its way to the sea, where the Blessing of the Sea ceremony takes place in which doves are released and a crucifix is thrown into the water for youngsters to retrieve.

This day is celebrated all throughout the island but the most dramatic festivities you’ll find being held in Larnaca.

The Limassol Carnival takes place between February and March, starting two weeks before the start of Lent, and the festival opens with a parade of the Carnival king entering town, signaling the start of the masquerades, the feasting and the all-around partying.

The festival has two parts, the first week is known as Kreaini – meat week – which is the last week of eating meat before Easter, and the second week is Tyrini – cheese week – with cheese and other dairy products being consumed during this week.

During the festival you can see minstrels wandering the streets with their guitars and mandolins, people in costume, parades for children or fancy dress parades. Many hotels hold balls during the festival, which culminates with the Grand Carnival parade. This final parade takes place on the last Sunday before the first day of lent, Green Monday.

We’ll continue talking about many other Cyprus festivals in future articles, till them keep in mind our Cyprus car hire services, and how they can help you enjoy your trip that much more.