Who doesn’t enjoy attending festivals and celebrations, let alone in different places, experiencing an authentic experience of getting to know new peoples. Cyprus is a destination with a long-standing cultural tradition and offers the opportunity through events to revive customs from the past. Cultural heritage tourism in Cyprus can include the following destinations.
The Flood is the biggest and oldest annual celebration of the city of Larnaca for more than 100 years and is included in the UNESCO National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Τhe important event is held to celebrate Pentecost and is also rooted in various religious and pagan traditions and legends based on water. Larnaca organises the biggest celebration on the island, 50 days after Easter. During the six-day period, an open-air festival is organized along Athens Avenue (Finikoudes). This includes the sale of traditional handicrafts, delicacies and games. During the festival, swimming, sailing, traditional poetry, traditional dances, singing, etc. are organised.
An integral part of the festival are the competitions of impromptu poetry duels known as ‘Tsiattista’, where two ‘rivals’ try to ‘tease’ each other with their words. The witty and entertaining lyrics of the rhyming records are often performed to the accompaniment of a traditional fiddle or lute and in heavy Cypriot slang. The one who sats, (co-)matches lyrics with a single meaning and content in a rhythmic fifteen-syllable rhythm.
The world-famous, handmade “Lefkari” embroideries are of priceless cultural importance for both Lefkara and Cyprus and are included in the UNESCO World Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
The tradition of embroidery in Lefkara dates back to the 14th century. Influences from local techniques, embroideries of Venetian nobles (under whose rule the island was until the 16th century), ancient Greek and Byzantine geometric motifs can be found. For centuries, embroidery was the main occupation of the women in the village, who still create tablecloths, towels and other high-value embroideries sitting in the narrow streets of the village or in the courtyards and in the Lefkara Handicraft Centre.
The main materials for making Lefkari embroidery are Irish linen and French thread. The two sides must have the same shape so that the good side cannot be separated from the reverse side and the designs must be geometric and consist of cuts and upswings.
The basketry workshop of Peter Nikolaos in the village of Choirokoitia welcomes visitors to learn about the different types of traditional baskets he creates and to watch demonstrations of making halloumi in a small basket known as a “talari”, which is a traditional method of cheese making of the old times. Peter’s workshop is located in a stone-built house dating back to 1903 and has a small museum with exhibits from his collection of creations. This particular craftsman makes 13 different types of handmade traditional baskets. In the past, baskets were an integral part of everyday life and were used extensively for practical purposes such as making haloumi and collecting and transporting agricultural produce.
Therefore, visitors who wish to see and live unique travel experiences and gain knowledge regarding Cypriot traditions can include the above destinations in their trip to Cyprus.
The EduTourism project is implemented in the framework of the INTERREG V-A Cooperation Programme “Greece – Cyprus 2014-2020” and is co-funded by the European Union (E.T.P.A.) and the National Resources of Greece and Cyprus.