Storytelling, magic and spectacle are always on the menu in Limassol’s annual line-up of festive events for visitors in search of traditional cultural delights. And 2018 is no different! Top performers from Cyprus, Greece and Russia will present a number of stunning shows in music, dance, theatre, and on ice! Londa hotel is just a short ride (5.4 kms | 3.3 miles) from many of the venues, such as the Pattihio Theatre or the Rialto, which are close to Limassol Castle and the Marina.
So, for those staying with us at Londa on one of our Christmas and New Year Gala Dinner Packages featuring a special 5 course or a La Carte menu, every day is like the Advent calendar – a new door of exciting possibilities may be opened! In this post we take a look at a few of the cultural highlights…
Menu delights of the cultural kind
Firstly, to set the festive scene… in and around Limassol, across the island and the many villages hidden away in the inner mountain areas, preparation for the traditional Christmas table will be underway. Typical savoury delights include baked “kourabiedes” shortbread and “melomakarona” honey cookies.
Kourabiedes are usually made with almonds and shaped into crescents or balls and baked till slightly golden, and sometimes flavoured with brandy, such as Metaxa, vanilla, or rose water. Melomakarona are made with flour or semolina, cognac, cinnamon and olive oil, filled with dates and nuts, and then immersed in hot syrup made of honey and sugar.
Further cultural traditions may be savoured when The Russian Circus on Ice performs ‘The Snow Queen’, served up in a staggering display of skating wizardry and breathtaking ballet elegance.
Spectacular innovations in choreography
The classic fairytale story of friendship, love, and bravery, was written by Danish author, Hans Christian Andersen, and first published in December 1844.
It’s thought that the tale of childhood friends, Kai and Gerda – in which Kai falls under the spell of the wicked Snow Queen and Gerda sets out on a magical adventure to rescue him from the evil enchantment – may be based upon a true event in Andersen’s life. It’s suggested that the author was inspired to model the icy-hearted Snow Queen on Swedish opera singer, Jenny Lind, who Andersen met in 1840, but whose romantic advances were rejected by her despite becoming friends.
The Russian Circus has been creating productions on ice for the last 50 years with an ensemble of the world’s best ice dancers and acrobats. Their latest production, which offers over 300 fantastic new costumes and spectacular innovations in choreography plays at Limassol’s Pattihio Theatre on Saturday 15 December, 20:00 (In Greek) and Sunday 16 December, 19:00 (In Russian).
From Blues Classics to Classic Carmen
Music lovers may also have time to catch a concert of traditional Greek carols together with all-time Christmas jazz and blues classics made famous by Cole Porter, Kurt Weil, George Gershwin and Bart Howard. A jazz trio, comprising Yiannis Hadjiloizou (piano), Yiorgos Krasides (saxophone), Ireneos Koulouras (double bass), will be led by artistic director and soprano, Katerina Mina, on Sunday 16th (18:00 – 20:00) at the Rialto, which is only a block away from the Pattihio Theatre.
Just days later, on Wednesday 19th (20:00 – 21:3), at the Pattihio Theatre, The Moscowia Ballet present ‘Carmen’, the ever popular and frequently performed opera in four acts by French composer Georges Bizet. First performed in Paris in March 1875, it’s the tragic story of Don José, a naïve soldier who is seduced by the fiery gypsy girl, Carmen, but loses her love to the glamorous matador, Escamillo, after which José kills her in a jealous rage. The instantly recognisable aria, “Habanera”, is sung in Act 1 by Carmen to beguile the hapless Don José.
Snow Maiden yearns for feeling love
The Moscowia Ballet will be presenting another classical ballet – “Snow Maiden – Snegurochka” – on Saturday 22nd (20:30). Based on a 19th century folk-tale, and later adapted with the music of Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov, the Snow Maiden is set in the frozen landscape of the Russian countryside. Snegurochka is a girl made of snow – the daughter of Frost and Spring – who yearns for the companionship of human beings and to know their world of love and feeling. The great seasonal themes of love, humanity, devotion are explored but there is more than one version of the story…
In one version, a group of girls invite her for a walk in the woods, after which they make a small fire and take turns leaping over the flames. When it is Snegurochka’s turn to start jumping, she can only reach halfway before evaporating into a haze. In a second version, the Snow Maiden grows to like a shepherd named Lel, but her heart is unable to know love. Her mother takes pity and gives her the ability to feel this most elusive of emotions, but as soon as she falls in love, her heart warms and she melts.
Unique Christmas Day concert
Hearts will be sure to warm once more to the music of Tchaikovsky at the Limassol Municipality Philharmonic who present a “Christmas Spectacular” on 20th December at Pattihio Theatre (20:30). Described as a “wonderful Christmas musical journey”, the audience will not only enjoy the music from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker but also The Light Cavalry Overture by Franz Von Suppe as well as many well-known and loved Christmas melodies sung by a Children’s Choir.
There’s even a unique Christmas Concert at the Pattihio Theatre on the evening of Christmas Day itself (19:00). The Christmas Chambers Orchestra will present in a dazzling programme of works from many of the great classic composers, including highlights from Corelli, Handel, Vivaldi, Piazzolla, Ramirez, Straus, and many more.
So definitely a high cultural feast on the menu for those festive holidaymakers in Limassol seeking an alternative choice of relaxation and entertainment. And there’s still those leisurely days leading up to New Year itself. More about this next time…