Monday, March 14, 2016

Thousands throng in Limassol to watch carnival parade

Tens of thousands of revelers thronged into the sea-side city of Limassol, in the south of the Mediterranean island Cyprus on Sunday to watch the annual carnival parade.

The Mayor of Limassol Andreas Christou told Xinhua that this year marked the biggest number in floating groups and participants, and the period of celebration was extended by 5 days to 15 days, in order to accommodate more events scheduled for this year's carnival.

After experiencing the financial crises, people need an opportunity to take a break, enjoy their lives, and ensure readiness to go forward for a better life, a better society, he said.

Town Hall officials said that this year's parade was the biggest ever, with an estimated 15,000 masqueraded people taking part in the parade, which lasted several hours into night.

The parade, which was led by the Carnival queen, was followed by open air dancing and reveling in several parts of the city.

The city inhabitants pride themselves of being the merriest and most fun loving people in Cyprus.

The "carnivalists", as people who take part in the parade are called, were divided into groups, several on floats, but mostly made up of teams of costumed people, some up to 500-strong, who danced their way for the whole length of the parade along the city's main avenue.

The teams mostly shed scorn on the politicians and even made fun of economic scandals coming to light and the hardships caused by the three-year long economic crisis, or they just presented imaginary figures of every-day people.
  • Limassol's carnival has a history of over 100 years.
  • It is not as famous as other carnivals in Europe, such as those of Venice and the Greek city of Patras, but Limassol is high on the list grouping carnival cities.

Limassol has a special committee under the direction of the Town Hall working non-stop for organizing the carnival.

The carnival parade signals the beginning of a 50-day long fasting before Easter, the biggest religious event for Greek Orthodox.

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