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Limassol Wine Festival – Free Wine and the Vraka Man
It’s almost that time of year again, the annual wine festival that takes place in Limassol. Limassol (Lemesos) is known as the party city of Cyprus and if you go to the wine festival you will see why! It is also the wine capital of Cyprus and has held this event every year since 1961. This famous festival is held in the Municipal Gardens which is located on the road.
The Wine Festival originally began as a tribute to the Cypriot winemaking tradition. Every year it has been getting bigger and better with different wines, events, Cypriot cuisine and events. They were originally inspired by ancient festivals dedicated to the God of Wine, Dionysos and the Goddess of Beauty and Love, Aphrodite. Other performances include folk dance, music and performances from local and international talent groups. There are wines offered from large and small wineries that can be sampled for free with a small entrance fee of 5 Euros.
Along with the entrance fee you will receive a free bottle of wine from the winery of your choice and for 1 or 2 Euros you can choose a plastic wine souvenir of your choice that will be refilled throughout the night! Finally, visitors have the opportunity to watch or participate in the grape stomping dance which is a popular event because you won’t see the traditional press. It’s fun to watch and depending on how much wine you’ve had it’s fun to do! Another symbol of the festival is the giant “Vraka Man” who greets guests at the door with the slogan “Drink wine for health”. For those who don’t know “Vraka” is a traditional Cypriot dress especially regarding trousers. The basic clothing consists of the colorful trousers or “vraka” which are seen in some form on all the Greek islands. This is also worn with a waistcoat called “yileko” and a jacket or “zibouni”. Vraka is painted black for older men and blue for younger boys. A shirt is usually made of cotton for everyday use and a silk shirt is worn on special days. Depending on the area you are in will choose beautiful decorations for it.
Since this is a traditional Cypriot festival and no one wears a “vraka” anymore this statue is a welcoming and friendly place and a reminder of the old Cypriot traditions. This is an event that I would highly recommend taking a bus or taxi to or the free bus that runs from all cities. You can find out more about the transport services provided by the Lemesos Municipality on their website. There is also a free parking lot to the east of the Municipal Garden Theater (Pafilia ground) and it is free, thanks to the Municipality of Limassol however, I would recommend a designated driver!
The festival starts on August 27, 2010 and ends on September 5. It opens at 7:00 pm and closes at 11:00 pm except on Fridays and Saturdays when it is open for another half hour until 11:30 pm.
Adult: € 5.00 including a bottle of wine from the winery of your choice: ETKO, KEO, LOEL, SODAP
Youth: From 13 – 18 yrs – € 4.00
Children up to 12 years old –
€ 3.00 plastic bottles of wine –
€ 1.00 each wine glasses –
€1.00 each wine glasses with stem – €2.00 each.
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