Over 40,000 people participate in Limassol carnival in Cyprus: organizers

Over 40,000 people took part in this year’s carnival parade in the southern Cypriot coastal city of Limassol on Sunday, the organizers said.

According to Limassol’s Town Hall, about 120 groups on float and on foot, some 500-strong, took part in the carnival parade along a central avenue of the city.

The carnival procession was led by the Carnival King. Parading behind him for about four hours were thousands of costumed people who danced their way along the crowd-lined venue or frolicked on decorated floats.

Limassol, which is high on the list of carnival cities, has a long carnival tradition, which originated in the early years of Christianity.

In its present form, the Limassol carnival marks the start of a 40-day fasting leading the most important religious holiday of Greek Orthodox Christians.

It started as an organized event with rules set by the city’s Municipality over 100 years ago, and departed from the Venetian tradition of elaborate costumes and masks depicting nobility flirting and behaving in a composed manner.

Instead, participants in the Limassol carnival mock politicians, events and situations, poke fun at each other and the people watching the parade and make extensive use of foam and confetti.