Annual Events in Cyprus

The gorgeous island of Cyprus is best known for its stunning beaches, natural scenery, and for offering endless opportunities for entertainment. But there is more to Cyprus than sun, sandy beaches, and bars. The island's rich history incorporates elements of both European and Middle Eastern cultures, and as result, Cyprus' annual events calendar is packed with interesting festivals and celebrations that are well worth attending. Here's a list of the most important annual events in Cyprus.

Carnival in Cyprus

Carnival parades take place all over Cyprus, but the Limassol Carnival is the most impressive of them all. In fact, some have described it as one of the top Carnival celebrations outside Rio. Every year, ten days before Lent, the streets of this lively town in southern Cyprus are filled with colourful parades, brass bands, dancers, and more. Masked balls, free food treats, and a cheerful atmosphere are other things that visitors can look forward during the Carnival period in Cyprus. Everyone is welcome to join in, so if you are in Cyprus around February - March, make sure to stop by at Limassol and join one of the world's coolest Carnival celebrations.

The Flower Festival

Also known as "Anthestiria", Cyprus' Flower Festival is an inspiring event that takes place in various Cypriot towns during the month of May. The celebration of the Flower Festival has its roots in ancient Greece, where people celebrated the symbolic re-birth of nature during the spring. At this time of the year, Cyprus is literally blooming, and this is seen by locals as the perfect excuse to celebrate. During the Flower Festival, holidaymakers will have the chance of visiting plant and flower exhibitions, witness impressive flower parades, and indulge in some special food treats that are specifically prepared for this event. In Limassol and Larnaca, there is also a number of children's events taking place during the festival.

The Festival of the Flood

The month of June presents yet another opportunity to get out on the streets and celebrate with music, food, and different types of performances. The Festival of the Flood (known as "Kataklysmos" in Greek) has also been celebrated since ancient times. In this case, water is the main theme, and this is rarely surprising considering the important role that water and the sea have played in this island over the centuries. One word of warning though: expect to get wet or to have a bucket of water thrown over you (which is not necessarily a bad thing, as the temperatures start getting really hot in Cyprus at this time of the year). If you are travelling with children, get them a water gun and prepare for a day of fun out in the streets. Free concerts, boat races, and watersport competitions are part of the festival's programme every year. This event is particularly worth attending in Paphos, Agia Napa, Larnaca, and Limassol.

Shakespearean Nights

Theatre lovers out there cannot miss this annual event, which is held for three days during the month of June at Limassol's Kourion amphitheatre, an impressive venue overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. This is the local (and very popular) version of the Bard Festival, and is a definite must-do for anyone visiting Cyprus during the summer.

The Beer Festival

The Beer Festival is a relatively new event that is organised in Limassol during the first week of August. There is no entrance fee and the range of both local and imported beers is quite impressive indeed. In addition to that, there are free concerts, raffles, and plenty of entertainment to be had for the duration of the festival.

The Wine Festival

Due to its warm climate, Cyprus has been a prime wine-making country for centuries. September marks the start of the grape harvest in the island, and the Wine Festival is a great opportunity to sample the fine flavours of some of the best local wines. This festival is organised in Limassol and lasts a whole week, during which a varied programme of events is on offer. Photography exhibitions, traditional music performances, classic car parades, theatre plays, and comedy shows will surely keep you entertained during your stay in Cyprus.

Kypria

During this festival, Cyprus takes centre stage in the global cultural scene thanks to a wonderful and interesting programme devoted to the arts. All kinds of performances, shows, and exhibitions are organised during the Kypria Festival, including photography, dance, ballet, opera, film, and more. In the past, the festival has offered performances by the Oxford Symphonic Orchestra, the Russian Ballet, and the prestigious Rambert Dance Company. Kypria is usually celebrated during late September or October and performances take place in several venues across Cyprus' most important towns.