About Cyprus

The Festival of the Blossoming Almond Tree

Almond Tree

Cypriots really know how to have fun. Multiple festivals, which seem to follow one other without a break, testify to it – festivals of flowers, of strawberries, wine and beer. Practically every product which is grown or produced in Cyprus becomes a reason to organize a fun festival.

On the Way to Limnatis

The Blossoming Almond Tree

We went to one of the festivals at the end of February. The festival of the blooming almond tree is held in the small village of Limnatis, which is located not far from Limassol.

The event attracts not only visitors to the island, who gather to admire the wonderful gardens with delicate pink flowers, but also locals, for whom the festival becomes a good reason to meet their friends on a fine Sunday.

We left Limassol in the morning and went towards the mountains. The road to the village takes a little time аnd since it lies at the foot of Тroodos, you can enjoy wonderful views on the way.

The distance from Limassol to Limnatis is about 25 kilometers.

And Other Official Personalities…

The Festival of the Blossoming Almond Tree

The festival started at about 11 o’clock, not only locals and guests had arrived on time for its opening, but also official personalities, including the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades.

By the way, the arrival of top public officials didn’t affect the festive events in any way and did not bother the guests. A small, inconspicuous, presidential motorcade joined the line of cars, whilst the small number of security personnel conducted themselves quietly whenever someone came close to the Head of State to take a photo.

At the entrance to the square, which became the centre of the extravaganza during the festival, everyone was offered local wine and zivania, аs well as a drink of almonds, for free. Also there are huge barbeques here, and you may enjoy piping hot souvlaki made of chicken and pork. There is a friendly family next to the barbeque, whose head dexterously cooks traditional pastries called loukoumades, which resemble sweet doughnuts.

Delicious Food Tasting

Products made from almonds

Do not hurry to buy the traditional food and take a seat at the table! (By the way, despite a significant number of people who attend the festival there is more than enough space for everyone.)

Go along the rows of the square and try all kinds of sweets and Cypriot national dishes, to which local inhabitants will happily treat you.  It’s a must.

The parade starts with the traditional Cypriot unleavened bread, which a skillful hostess will take right out of the oven.

An old Cypriot standing nearby will tell and show you the secrets to the cooking of the national pride, halloumi cheese, and if you walk a bit further you can try traditional village pastries made of almonds.

Shuszhukos (similar to eastern churchkhela) is a special pride of local citizens, like anywhere in Cyprus.

Entertainment during the festival is not meant only for adults. Young guests are in for an entertaining programme with the participation of Disney cartoon characters, fantastic tricks, as well as special master classes to make traditional clayware.

The Pink Fume is a Miracle of Nature the Blossoming Almond Tree

When we have had enough walking among the vending kiosks and sampling the food, we went to admire the blossoming almond trees – that was the main goal of the trip!

Everything is covered with delicate, feathery, pinkish flowers. Some are adorned with bright red threads in the middle. The flowers appear on bare trees as if covering them with a white and pink veil.

The air fills with the most gentle aroma of blossoming almond for many kilometers. The magnificent flowers strike you so much that very few people can pass by the trees, which are celebrating the spring so wonderfully. This is what attracts local inhabitants and visitors of the island, who want to admire the unrivalled beauty of reviving nature.

Almond is considered one of the elite kinds of nuts in the world. By the way, the unusual form of the nut gave the name to the eye shape, which was praised by the famous eastern poet Omar Khayyam.

Almond is the King of Nuts

In Cyprus, almond has been cultivated since the times of the Roman Empire. Village inhabitants will reveal the secrets of this extraordinary tree.

You can understand which variety of almond will grow on a tree by the shade of the blossoms – the white colour means bitter almond, it is used in soft drinks and some kinds of liqueurs. Its oil is used as a flavouring.

If you see pink flowers, it means that it’s sweet almond. This is used for pastries and to cook local sweets.

Salty and fried almond of this variety is the best snack for cocktails, and it also served with cheeses.

Now we have decided to go to the center of the village. It is unusually quiet here this Sunday. There is a large viewing point near the village tavern, from where wonderful views of orange gardens and blooming almond forests open.

But we cannot have a snack in the tavern. The host excuses himself and closes down his establishment, saying that he and his family are looking forward to seeing the closing of the festival, while the eatery will resume work literally in an hour.

The Next Festival Is Looming!!

But we were not offended – after plentiful snacks at the festival the wish to visit the tavern was just a curiosity.

A cup of coffee with a view of the blossoming gardens would also have been a good end to our journey. But nothing terrible has happened, it means there is a reason to come back to the hospitable Limnatis again.

 

The Festival of the Blossoming Almond Tree