Ten or twelve days before the Easter Lent, Cyprus residents dress up in colourful costumes and masks to celebrate the Carnival. The biggest and most well-organized event takes place in Limassol, where each year the municipality handles the administration of the celebration.
The heritage of the Carnival goes back to ancient Greece with a festival honoring Dionysus, the god of wine and fun. The first week, or Meat week, starts with the arrival of the King of Carnival into the city, accompanied with serenades, music, and dancing children. The second week, or Cheese week, symbolizes the forthcoming Lent, so no meat and only dairy products are consumed. Carnival highlights also include serenading at Saripolou Square and Medival Castle Square.
Children's Carnival Parade (March 10, 2024)
The peak of merrymaking falls on two weekends. The first highlight is represented by Children's Carnival Parade, luring thousands of carnival-goers. On the parade day, Limassol's taverns and nightclubs are packed. Hotel rooms evaporate, so book up early.
Grand Carnival Parade (March 17, 2024)
On the last day, the Grand Carnival Parade invigorates the whole city, as thousands of dressed people in masks and bright costumes follow the King of Carnival to watch the floats on the sea and receive a good luck blessing from the King. The parade usually starts at Grigoris Afxentiou Square and passes Anexartisias, Municipal University Library, Ayiou Andreou, Stasinou, and Andrea Drousioti. The parade ends at Heroes’ Square.