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Cyprus Festivals

Most Greek Cypriots belong to the Orthodox Church and there are numerous religious festivals throughout the year including panagyri where every village celebrates their patron saint’s day with wine, food, traditional dancing, costumes and songs. Fóta (Epiphany) is celebrated on 6th Januaryfollowed by Evangelismós (Feast of the Annunciation) on March 25th.  Apokreo (Carnival) in Lemesós (Limassol) precedes the end of Lent. Orthodox Easter is widely celebrated with the veiling of icons on Maundy Thursday and removed on Easter Saturday while flower festooned images of Christ are paraded through village streets on Good Friday. Festivities culminate in parties on Easter Day. This is followed 7 weeks later by Kataklysmos (Festival of the Flood) with processions in seaside towns and cleansing ceremonies. Other religious celebrations include Elevation of the Holy Cross on September 14th and the Feast of the Archangels Gabriel and Michael in the St Michael Monastery at Analiontas southwest of Lefkosía (Nicosia).                                                                                                                                                                  
In North Cyprus Muslim feasts such as Mevlud the birthday of Mohammed, Seker Bayrami (Sugar Festival) which marks the end of 40 days of Ramadan (annual fast) and Kurban Bayrami commemorates Abraham’s sacrifice. The actual dates for these festivals vary from year to year.
 
Look out for the Wild Flower Festivals in March and April most weekends all over southern Cyprus. In mid-May the return of spring is celebrated at Anthestiria Flower Festival in Páfos and Lemesós. Also in mid-May is the Orange Festival in North Cyprus at Mórfou (Güzelyurt). The Commandaria Festival in late August celebrates the beginning of the grape harvest. Lemesós Wine Festival in early September gives you the opportunity to sample local wines free of charge. The Afamia Grape and Wine Festival is held in Koilani in early October and despite being a tiny village it has four wineries. Traditional village fairs take place in mid-October in Korakou, Koilani and Aradippou.
 
There are many cultural festivals such as the International Spring Concerts held in April and May in Bellapaïs (North Cyprus) - events take place in the Gothic abbey. This is followed by the International North Cyprus Music Festival in the autumn. Lárnaka has a Classical Music Festival in April and an International Summer Festival in July. There is a Chamber Music Festival in Lefkosía and Páfos in May and June and Aphrodite Opera Festival in Páfos in September. All these events attract internationally recognised musicians and singers. The Pancyprian Choirs Festival takes place in late June at Kato Páfos in the ancient Roman Odeon followed by an Ancient Greek Drama Festival in August. Look out for the Moonlight Concerts in summer at Páfos, Lesmesós and Agía Nápa. Finally also in Agía Nápa in mid-September is the International Festival a celebration of the performing arts. Don’t miss it!