The Limassol Carnival is one of the most important events in Cyprus, related to the Dionysian Festivals of classical antiquity. It is a joyful and colorful event that attracts both young and old, locals and visitors, making Limassol the carnival center of Cyprus.
During the carnival period Limassol celebrates with 10 days of parties, parades and music. The streets where the festivities take place are magnificently decorated, particularly around the Medieval Castle, which was the site of a royal wedding in the Middle Ages between Richard the Lionhearted and Berengaria of Navarre.
The arrival of the Carnival King heralds the start of the celebrations, followed by a children’s parade on the first Sunday, various music shows, and finally the Grand Carnival Parade which takes place on the last Sunday of the Carnival season.
Serenaders, traditionally called ‘Cantadori’, travel the streets during the day on floats, playing guitars and mandolins. At night there are fancy-dress parties taking place all around the city and around the Medieval Castle.
The first week of the Carnival is called the Meat Week (Kreatini), as it is the last week for eating meat before Easter. The second week is known as the cheese week (Tyrini) as this is when cheese and other dairy products may be eaten. The Pentecoste, which is the period of 50 days of fasting before Easter, commences with Green Monday right after the end of the Carnival.
This year’s festivities will begin on Shrove Thursday (February 16th) with the entrance of King Carnival in town and will last for ten days. The Limassol Municipality organizes various events such as open-air parties, children’s parades and serenaders’ evenings.
Τhe Grand Carnival Parade on Sunday, February 26th, is the culmination of the carnival events. It will start at 13.30 from St. Nicholas roundabout and will proceed along Makarios III Avenue.