By NewsGram Staff-Writer
The annual wine festival in Cyprus kick-started with high spirits on Thursday night in the southern city of Limassol. The Limassol Wine Festival is a tradition since Cyprus became an independent state; held in the last week of August and the first week of September each year, just ahead of the grape picking season.
Marking the 54th anniversary of the celebration, the event promotes local varieties of wines and grapes, which are unique and receive strong reputation worldwide. This time the festival is also featuring ‘Commandaria‘, a Cyprot sweet wine which is also known as the oldest wine in the world.
The mayor of Limassol Andreas Christou told, “We are expecting about 80,000 to 100,000 people, Cypriots and foreign tourists, to attend the festival in the next 10 days.” He insisted visitors to enjoy the best Cypriot wines, food, and a lot of other traditional cultural activities in the festival.
The four big wineries based in Limassol offer free wine to thousands of visitors for trying. Makeshift restaurants inside the city’s sea-side Municipal Garden offers assortment of local specialities at low prices. Visitors are welcomed at the site of the festival by an oversized figure, the Vraka Man, dressed in the traditional Cypriot baggy trousers–the vraka–and his motto: “Drink wine for better life”, meaning to be healthy and alive.
The Cyprus Tourism Organisation provides free bus transportation for tourists and locals from other cities in the island-wide event. Its organizers advertise it as a wonderful event to mark the end of the summer and the transition to autumn. But it is also meant to draw attention to the history of wine production in Cyprus. Various historical references confirm that wine has been produced in Cyprus for over 4,000 years.
With barrel upon barrel of wine distributed freely to the visitors it does not take long for outsiders to get entranced by the “spirits” of the city.
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