Cyprus Mail

Ancient ‘Anthesteria’ festival soon to be revived in Paphos

Dionysos and his Thiasus, Circle of Antimenes, circa 525-500 BCE, Louvre Museum

Paphos municipality is set to host its annual ‘Anthesteria’ festival, devoted to a celebration of spring, flowers, and theatre, harking back to ancient Greece.

The event is co-organised with the nature-lovers club and is the continuation of a long tradition over 85 years in Paphos.

The programme includes a photographic exhibit illustrating the history of the festival in the city.

Other featured events include a concert by singer Ivi Adamou and a four-piece orchestra, dancers, and the Paphos Philharmonic Orchestra, art from district schools, a theatrical performance and a concert by the Paphos Music School.

An artistic re-enaction of the abduction of Persephone by Hades and the changing of the seasons is another highlight.

The festival of the Anthesteria, traditionally in May, is inspired by the ancient rites held in Athens in honour of Dionysus, the god of theatre. It was also considered the celebration of souls, plants and flowers, during which re-birth and nature were celebrated.

The opening of the Paphos Anthesteria will be held on Thursday, May 11, at 7.30pm at the Palia Electriki Cultural Centre. Further details on the city’s tourism and the municipality websites.

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