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Cyprus Events

Cypriots place a high importance on their traditions and this is evident in their celebration of religious festivals. The Orthodox Church, to which most Greek Cypriots belong, has a major influence on their lives and events take place throughout the year.  Each village has its own patron saint’s day celebration or panagyri. The villagers hold a traditional fair and spend the day dancing, singing and sharing plenty of food and drink!

Muslim feasts are more common in North Cyprus and the main ones are Seker Bayrami which ends the 40 day period of Ramadan, Kurban Bayrami which commemorates Abraham’s sacrifice and Mevlud, the birthday of Mohammad.

January

New Year’s Day (Agios Vassilios)- formally celebrated with the exchange of presents.

Fota- Epiphany - 6th January. Very important Greek Orthodox celebration. In many coastal towns competitions are held between young men who race to retrieve a crucifix thrown into the water.

St Neofytos’ Day- late January. This traditional fair is held in the Agios Neofytus monastery located 9km north of Paphos.

Seker Bayrami (Sugar Festival) – the date varies. North Cyprus. This is a religious feast marking the end of Ramadan.

February

Limassol Carnival- This celebration last for 10 days before Lent ending in Green Monday. This is a great day of parties, fancy dress parades and picnics.


Presentation of Jesus to the
Temple- mid Feb. Traditional fair held in the  Chrysorrogiatissa monastery 25 km from Paphos

March

Greek National Day- 25th March. Parades, fairs and parties throughout the south of the island.

International Skiing Competition – mid March. Troodos . Downhill races on the slopes of Mount Olympus attract the crowds.

Greek Orthodox Easter – dates vary from March to May. Easter is the major Greek Orthodox religious event of the year and is celebrated all over Cyprus. In all towns on Maundy Thursday icons are covered with veils and on Good Friday a procession of decorated Sepulchres takes place in all parishes. On Easter Saturday a midnight open air mass takes place in every church. Icons are unveiled and an effigy of Judas is burned. On Easter Sunday and Monday families gather together to celebrate. Orthodox Easter is based on the Julian calendar and can occur up to 5 weeks after Easter in the West.

April

Cyprus National Day – April 1st. The anniversary of the EOKA uprising.



National Sovereignty and Turkish Children’s Festival- April 23rd.

Classical Music Festival – Larnaka (April- dates vary) held at Larnaka Municipal Theatre and organised by the municipality, this festival features concerts by internationally know classical musicians and vocalists.

May

Labour Day – May 1st  National holiday

Paphos May Fair-. Starts May 1st  10 days of cultural events and entertainment including exhibitions of embroidery, basketwork and dancing.

Anathestiria Flower Festival – May, various dates. This is a celebration of the coming of spring and the renewal of nature with the festivals’ origins dating back to Ancient Greece. Events in coastal towns include flower exhibitions, markets and parades.


Turkish Youth Festival – May 19th

Cyprus International Fair – late May. The largest trade fair in Cyprus. It lasts 10 days and is held in Cyprus International Fair Grounds in Nicosia.

June

Kataklysmos fair- 7 weeks after Easter (dates vary) Coinciding with Pentecost, Kataklysmos is a popular and unique religious festival. The celebrations last 6 days and take place in all coastal resorts. The programme includes boat races, nautical events, competitions and processions. People sprinkle water over each other to symbolise cleansing.


Shakespeare Festival –late June.
The charity performance of a Shakespeare play is held at Kourion Ancient Theatre, 19km west of Limassol.

July

Larnaka International Summer Festival- throughout July. Dance and musical theatre shows take place in the Patticon amphitheatre. Performances are staged by groups from Greece, the UK and Europe.


Peace and Freedom Day- July 20th. A public holiday in North Cyprus, it represents the date of Turkish intervention in 1974.

Moonlight concerts- July, during full moon. These concerts are organised by the Cyprus Tourism Organisation and are held in Limassol, Paphos and Ayia Napa.


August

Turkish Communal Resistance Day- August 1st.

Turkish Victory Day- August 30th

Commandria Festival – late August. A  festival held in the village of Kalo Chorio Limassol district to mark the beginning of the grape harvest.

Assumption of the Virgin Mary – August 15th. National Holiday. Fairs take place in Kykko and Chrysospiliotissa monasteries.

September

Wine Festival- early September.- 12 day wine festival in Limassol.

Ayia Napa International Festival – mid September. Folk musicians, dancers, opera singers and theatre groups all gather in Ayia Napa for a fantastic  annual event

International North Cyprus Music Festival – September- October. In Bellapais 7km south east of Kyrenia.

Elevation of the Holy Cross- September 14th. A traditional religious feast, one of the oldest in the Greek Orthodox calendar. In past times, men tucked basil behind their ears on this date.

 
October

Cyprus Independence Day- October 1st

Afamia Grape and Wine Festival- early October. Held in Koliani village in the Limassol district.

Agios Loukas- mid October. Traditional village fairs in Korakou, Koilani and Aradippou.

Turkish National Day- October 29th.

November

Feast of Archangels Gabriel and Michael – mid November. Fair and festival take place in the St Michael monastery in the village of Analiontas, southwest of Nicosia.

Limassol Cultural Festival – November. Music, dancing and theatre performances in the Rialto theatre.

TRNC Foundation Day- November 15th. Celebrating the foundation in 1983 of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is recognised by only Turkey.

 

December

Christmas- December 25th . Family celebrations after attending church services.

Carols Evening- December 25th. A big event in the central square of Ayia Napa. Food tasting, carol singing and rides in Santa’s sleigh.

 

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