1. Kataklysmos, 2. The Carnival, 3. Anthestiria Flower Festival, 4. Dionysia Festival, 5. Rainbow Festival, 6. Lemesia Festival, 7. Paphos Aphrodite Festival, 8. Ayia Napa International Festival, 9. European Dance Festival, 10. Larnaca Summer Festival. Cyprus' diversity is mirrored in an incredible calendar of events and activities, rich in archaeological sites, stunning landscape, and breath-taking coastline. Cyprus holds a number of yearly cultural, historical, religious, and sporting events and festivals that attract visitors from all over the world. To know more about the most famous festivals in Cyprus, please don't skip this article!
- The Carnival
- Anthestiria Flower Festival
- Dionysia Festival
- Rainbow Festival
- Lemesia Festival
- Paphos Aphrodite Festival
- Ayia Napa International Festival
- European Dance Festival
- Larnaca Summer Festival
Every year in June, 50 days after Orthodox Easter, Kataklysmos, or Flood Festival is celebrated. This is a genuinely unique celebration, held only in Cyprus and a few Greek seaside villages. The celebration takes place on Holy Spirit Day, which commemorates the biblical account of Noah and the Flood, and features a lot of water, with the main events taking place in Larnaca.
However, in Cyprus, the festivities are linked to ancient traditions held in honor of Aphrodite and Adonis. The festival’s major theme is water. Concerts, games, and other events are held by the shore in all coastal cities. Larnaca hosts Cyprus’ largest Flood Festival, which lasts several days and honors Kataklysmos. There is an open-air market on the coastal promenade with several kiosks offering toys and traditional food. A competition for rhyming songs in Cypriot dialect is also held, as well as performances by Greek and Cypriot singers and dancers. People will be splashing seawater on each other, symbolizing the cleaning of the body and soul.
Photo: Cyprus Mail
Photo: Culture Trip
The Carnival held in Limassol is the largest and one of the most famous festivals in Cyprus. It is undoubtedly one of the city’s brightest yearly events. On the Thursday of Creatine, 10 days before Lent, or 50 days before Orthodox Easter, Carnival begins (Meat Week, as it is the last week for eating meat before Lent). The Carnival King, dressed for the occasion, enters the city to kick off the festivities. On Sunday, the youngest take part in the Children’s Parade, after which the Serenaders’ presentations take center stage. Many hotels and clubs host fancy-dress parties over the 10-day Carnival period.
The Carnival reaches its pinnacle on the Sunday of Tyranny (Cheese Week, when cheese and other dairy items are permitted to be ingested). The Grand Carnival Parade takes place around this time. Along Limassol’s Makariou III Avenue, colorful floats and groups of fancy-dressed people sing and dance. The majority of events are free.
When: Late February/ Early March
Anthestiria Flower Festival
Exhibitions, flower markets, and shows are all part of the festival. The flower parade, which features magnificently painted floats and pedestrians carrying flowers, is the major attraction of Anthestiria. The Anthestiria Flower Festivals in Cyprus now have a similar concept to those of antiquity. The Anthestiria celebrations in Larnaka are normally conducted in May along the famed coastal promenade, where tourists may view a powerful, colorful flower march.
Where: Many cities
Dionysia Festival is a celebration of the island’s finest wines, as it honors Dionysus, the legendary Greek god of wine, every year at the conclusion of the scorching summer at Stroumbi village, Paphos region. The first Dionysia Festival was held in 1967, when a group of residents created the “Dance of the Grape,” which lasted one day and took place in the town square. Later, the event expanded into a three-day festival, and it became one of the country’s largest and most prominent events of its sort.
Many wine exhibits, traditional Cypriot and foreign dances and songs, games, local arts and crafts, fruits, vine-produce, and flower displays are all included in Dionysia’s program. Throughout the celebration, plenty of grapes and palouze (must jelly) are available for free. After a dancing competition on the festival’s last night, a “Star Dionysia” and a “Miss Grape” are chosen. If you are a wine lover, don’t miss this famous event!
The Rainbow Festival is the largest multicultural anti-racism and one of the most famous festivals in Cyprus with an aim to bring people of all races together. It’s organized by KISA (Action for Equality, Support, and Antiracism) and takes place in different locations with different themes each year. Various migrant, asylum seeker, and refugee community organizations, as well as Cypriot human rights and cultural organizations, are represented in the Rainbow festival. The Rainbow brings Cypriots and non-Cypriots together in mutual respect and under a shared theme, with the active and colorful participation of migrant and refugee populations, organizations and groups, as well as human rights and cultural organizations.
The festival’s program includes music, songs, and dances. There are also exhibitions and information kiosks where visitors can learn about the island’s efforts to combat prejudice and discrimination. The Rainbow Festival is typically held in November. The admission is free. The festival is also held at the Molos Waterfront in Limassol.
In October, the Cyprus sporting event Lemesia takes place in Limassol. It is undeniably one of the biggest and most famous sporting events in Cyprus. Although it focuses on professional athletics, it also encourages Limassolians to participate in sports. Limassol hosted the first Lemesia in 1998. Since then, the event has grown in popularity, with more sporting events and international athletes being added each year.
Athletes from several countries compete in a variety of disciplines during the 10 days of Lemesia, including boxing, karate, triathlon, marathon, shooting, rhythmic gymnastics, and cycling. Every year, the Municipality of Limassol invites a sports celebrity to the ceremony as a special guest. Photographic exhibitions documenting Cyprus’ sporting heritage are examples of events that do not require actual participation in sports.
Paphos Aphrodite Festival
For opera addicts, we recommend you to attend Paphos Aphrodite Festival. The event takes place in September, a month after the Ancient Greek theatrical festival, in front of the Paphos Medieval Castle, in a wonderful ambiance. The opera festival featured performances by prestigious, internationally recognized casts.
This popular autumn festival is one of the highlights of Cyprus’ cultural calendar, with three days of love, passion, and tragedy under the stars for classical opera fans. The Paphos Aphrodite Festival was first held in 1999, and it has since grown to become one of Cyprus’ most popular festivals. The event takes place outdoors in the square in front of Paphos’ medieval castle.
Typically, the event features the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra and Cypriot soloists who are chosen through auditions held by the production and who meet the appropriate qualifications for participation in high-level creative works. Each performance has a minimum seating capacity of 2.500 seats on amphitheatrical constructed metal tiers. The stage is built in front of the Medieval Castle, which is included in the stage scenery.
Photo: Visit Paphos
Ayia Napa International Festival
The Ayia Napa Festival is without a doubt one of the most famous festivals in and well-attended festival in the tourist resort of Ayia Napa, as well as one of the island’s most well-known events. The Ayia Napa International Festival allows locals and visitors to experience some of Cyprus’s musical and folk arts heritage. Every September, the event takes place in Sepheris Square at the Venetian-style Ayia Napa Monastery. The Ayia Napa International Festival began in 1985 and has since become an annual event.
The celebrations reflect Cyprus’ cultural, historical, and agricultural roots. Concerts, operas, theatrical events, and Cypriot and international folklore dancing are all activities of the Ayia Napa International Festival’s agenda. All of the events depict Cyprus’ past and present traditions and way of life. Visitors can enjoy the many kiosks that sell traditional agricultural produce and cuisines in addition to the performances and festivities. These activities produced a welcoming ambiance that reflected the people of Ayia Napa’s kindness and hospitality.
Photo: My Cyprus Insider
European Dance Festival
Talking about the most famous festivals in Cyprus, European Dance Festival is not to be missed. European Dance Festival, an annual highlight on the European arts and cultural scene, takes place in Limassol in May. Many European dance troupes travel to Cyprus to compete with the Cypriot dance troupes. The Ministry of Education and Culture, along with the Rialto Theater and the embassies of participating nations, are organizing the event. The Rialto Theater hosts the performances.
Each company performs a performance that reflects modern dance trends in their country and is required to display something new, such as original choreography or an innovative stage set. There are also inspiring workshops in addition to the dance performances.
The European Dance Festival is one of the most successful national festivals aimed at increasing public knowledge of European contemporary dance. Through the works of representative groups from each country, a feast of contemporary dance meets all of the trends, dynamism, and new forms of the international contemporary scene.
Photo: Festival Finder
Larnaca Summer Festival
It is undeniable that the Larnaca Summer Festival is one of the island’s most prominent and famous festivals. Residents and visitors to Larnaca extremely enjoy a feast of entertainment at the Municipality of Larnaca’s event in July. It is a music and performing arts event.
National and international performers perform dance, drama, and music. Film screenings and poetry are part of the event. The courtyard of the Larnaca medieval fort and the Pattichion Municipal Amphitheater, where outdoor performances are held, are the primary venues. Concerts, ballet and modern dance performances, dramas, poetry readings, and choirs of national and international performers are all on the schedule. On starry summer nights, this festival takes place in the courtyard of Larnaka’s historic fort and the municipal amphitheater.
Photo: Travel Trade Cyprus