Why are more people not taking about the Limassol carnival ?
As I was going through the list of most popular carnivals around the world, and I list a few noteworthy, I realised that something was amiss!
The Limassol Carnival was missing.
- Trinidad and Tobago Carnival, Trinidad and Tobago
- Venice Carnival, Italy
- New Orleans Mardi Gras, USA
- Cologne Carnival, Germany
- Rio Carnival, Brazil
- Notting Hill Carnival, United Kingdom
- Oruro Carnival, Bolivia
- Binche Carnival, Belgium
- Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
The history 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.
Typically the Carnival festive season officially starts on Shrove Tuesday. On this day the people of Limassol gather at various locations in the town’s historic centre, where they celebrate the traditional customs, such as the consumption of meat (tsiknomata in Greek), serenading, and makeshift parties.
The biggest and most well-organized event takes place in Limassol, where each year the municipality handles the administration of the celebration.
The main Characters
The fun and the frolic of the Carnival season is best captured in a 1976 article which, half a century later, still remains relevant:
“Limassol is having fun. For two whole weeks, during the Carnival season, the people of Limassol do little else other than party every single day, drinking, dancing and staying up all night.
Masquerades are inspired by a variety of themes, including historical and political events, movies and the cultures of foreign countries, mythology and folk tales.
The oldest and most traditional masquerades are the so-called ‘pellomaskes’ – makeshift, last-minute, goofy-looking masks which people wear to conceal their identity and to draw laughter, engage in satire, and have fun. Complementing the whole carnival atmosphere are the serenaders, the hallmark of the Limassol Carnival.
Limassol lives and breathes during the days of the Carnival. They invite their friends from other towns to join the fun and leave their troubles behind.However this year was marred by the pandemic as a result, the Limassol Municipality announced months ago that the big carnival celebrations will not take place this March.
However keeping with the sprit of the carnival and to give hope to humanity :
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“the Limassol Carnival will have a different character, but it will have the same goal as every year. To offer the world joy, fun and optimism for a better tomorrow. In ways compatible with epidemiological data, the Municipality of Limassol proves that even in difficult times, traditions are not abandoned, but are kept alive and addressed to the whole world, regardless of age and social origin.”
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