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 Various historical references confirm that wine has been produced in Cyprus for over 4,000 years.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.
As the festive mood takes over the country on the auspicious occasion of Christmas, B-Town is also spreading the cheer on social media.
Amitabh Bachchan took to his blog to share: “Before all else, wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2020 .. may the glory of peace and well being be the moto of all .. may we live in the harmony of love and the blessings of this auspicious moment”.
Rishi Kapoor shared a throwback family photo on Twitter where he can be seen wearing a Santa cap along with son Ranbir, who appears to be a teenager. Also in the photo are his wife Neetu Kapoor and daughter Riddhima.
Sanjay Dutt shared a family photo on Twitter and Instagram with his wife Manyata and kids. The actor wrote: “Nothing better than spending time with your family during the holiday season! Here’s wishing everyone a Merry Christmas #MerryChristmas2019 #HappyChristmas #MerryXmas”
Sara Ali Khan painted Instagram red by posting a series of photographs with her brother Ibrahim, who looks like a photocopy of his father Saif Ali Khan. She posted: “Red nose reindeer, White snowflake, Virgin eggnog, Christmas cake, Get the party started, It’s Christmas Eve for heaven’s sake!” The actress also shared a photo with dad Saif and wrote: “Merry Christmas everyone!”
Bhumi Pednekar shared a photo of her on Instagram where she can be seen happily posing in front of a gigantic Christmas tree. The actress wrote: “Merry Christmas Spread love and Joy! #love #instagood #christmas”
Abhishek Bachchan tweeted: “Merry Christmas”.
Diana Penty shared a gorgeous pic of hers in front of a beautiful Christmas tree and wrote on Instagram: “Ho! Ho! Ho(pe) you have an amazing day filled with love, laughter, family, friends… Merry Christmas everyone!”
Raveena Tandon shared a photo of hers on Insta where she looks gorgeous in a deep red dress. She wrote: “May your heart and home be filled with all of the joys the festive season brings. Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!”
Shilpa Shetty shared a Boomerang video on Insta where she can be seen trying to bake a cake. Son Viaan is seen in the video, too. Shilpa’s expression is hilarious in the video. She wrote: “A little “two” Merry Grrrrrrr @shamitashetty_official But more the merrier…it’s Christmas!! Cooking up a storm … 7 desserts on the menu for Christmas lunch #christmas #christmastime #christmasdesserts #happiness #prep #love #gratitude #family”.
Adil Hussain tweeted: “Hello Everyone… Have a great Christmas and may the light of the ever forgiving Jesus show you the path to evolve toward your highest potential! Merry Christmas to you everyone one. Love and light.”
Neha Dhupia shared a family photo with husband Angad Bedi and their baby girl Mehr, all clad in red. She tweeted: “Merry Christmas from us to you”
Singer Neha Kakkar shared on Instagram: “Merry Christmas to You and your Family!! Christmas”
Choreographer-filmmaker Remo D’Souza wished for happiness and peace for everyone on Christmas. He shared on Instagram: “If We could tell Santa what to give all of you, It would be happiness and peace. Not just this Christmas, but for the entire year…Merry Xmas from our family to yours.”
Filmmaker Anubhav Sinha tweeted: “Merry Christmas India!!! Celebrate love!!!” Director Sanjay Gupta also wished: “Merry Christmas”.
Filmmaker duo Abbas-Mustan tweeted: “Merry Christmas to everyone filled with joy happiness n love”.
Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar shared a photo of himself standing in front of a brightly lit and decked up Christmas tree and tweeted: “May this season be full of light, laughter, & peace for you & your family. Merry Christmas.”
Wishes kept pouring in from B-Town throughout the day as, amid a situation of political tension, the nation celebrated Christmas and everyone wished for peace. (IANS)