The Limassol (or Lemesos) Carnival takes place every year at the start of Lent.
The Carnival celebrations in Limassol originate from Greek mythology and the Dionysiac festivals, dating back hundreds of years. 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 Lionheart and Berengaria of Navarre.
The arrival of the Carnival King heralds the start of the celebrations (4th February), followed by a children’s parade on the first Sunday (7th February), various music shows and finally the Grand Carnival Parade which takes place on the last Sunday (14th February) 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 take place all around the city at night and around the Medieval Castle.
The first week of 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.
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