Cyprus’ Magnificent Flower Festivals
Cyprus is a country that hides many wonderful surprises. Cities with fascinating history and quaint villages of mesmerizing beauty attract many travelers who look for a different Mediterranean destination. What is different about it? The charming trace of East on European territory. Historical elements of the Eastern Mediterranean survive today in the flower festivals celebrated in Limassol.
The flower festivals were popular events in Eastern Mediterranean for centuries. They celebrated the commemoration of the dead and the rebirth of nature, sustaining that man and nature are one beautiful entity living in harmony with the cosmos. These rituals are now academic material but the spirit of the festivities lives on in the Rose and Anthestiria Festivals that take place on the island in late spring.
The Rose Festival
Roses are the most famous local produce of the Agros village, in the Pitsilia region. The climate in Cyprus is a bit hotter than that of the rest of the Mediterranean so the flowers bloom a little earlier, which is why the festival occurs in May. Travelers have the chance to sample and buy rose perfume, rose oil, rose candy and liquor and many other rose by-products, enjoy local music, taste wine and even participate in dancing. The village itself is beautiful and exploring it is an extra delight for any visitor.
Anthestiria Festival is also celebrated in May in the urban area of Limassol. The festival is organized by the municipality of Germasogeia and lasts for two days. Magnificent, colorful chariots decorated with flowers and people dressed in costumes parade the city, traditional choirs and dance groups perform, flower producers display their output and local craftsmen exhibit the fruits of their labor. Visitors have the chance to buy flowers, traditional baskets and pottery and taste local liquor and delicacies. The festival is supported by the Londa Beach Hotel, which, by the way, is the perfect place to stay if you plan to visit Limassol and attend the celebration. The perfumes and vibrant colors fill the city with optimism, enthusiasm and fervor. It is just the right ritual to initiate the transition to summer, which also arrives a little earlier on this magical island.
image credit: dan barbus