Christmas Events in Cyprus

The Cyprus State Orchestra and the Cyprus Ballet have joined forces for this year’s annual production of The Nutcracker. Tonight, the Patticheon Municipal Theatre in Limassol hosts the final performance of one of the world’s most popular ballets to Tchaikovsky’s riveting music.

First performed in a St. Petersburg Theatre in 1892, The Nutcracker was the third ballet score composed by Tchaikovsky and has endured over a century to become the most frequently performed ballet of all time.

For about two months before every Christmas, hundreds of versions are staged across the world by both professional companies and dance schools. It is the traditional introduction to classical music and dance for small children, and has given many thousands their first glimpse of ballet.

The Nutcracker is a charming tale of holiday adventure that follows a little girl’s journey through a fantasy world of fairies, princes, toy soldiers, and an army of mice. The performances in Cyprus of this timeless classic have been choreographed by Aidar Akhmetov, a graduate of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow, and include over 50 local dance students and instructors. Conductor Maciej Zoltowsky will guide the Cyprus State Orchestra through Tchaikovsky’s score and deliver the beloved melodies of the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” and the “Waltz of the Snowflakes.”

Celebrate the coming of Christmas with a fantastical story in dance and music, and join the Cyprus Ballet and State Orchestra for their last performance of The Nutcracker.

The Nutcracker > Performed by the Cyprus State Orchestra and the Cyprus Ballet. Patticheon Municipal Theatre, Limassol. 8.30pm. Tickets £10 and £6. Tel: 22-800973.

This afternoon, the Epea Pteroenta ensemble along with the Children’s Choir of the Faneromeni Church will give a concert of traditional Greek and Cypriot carols and fill the space of their cultural club with the sounds of music written in celebration of Christmas, New Years and the Day of the Lights.

In an effort to keep tradition alive and rescue Christmas from the clutches of commercialisation, the Epea Pteroenta cultural club organised this concert and has invited the public to join in their celebration of the rich musical repertoire inspired by these Christian holidays.

With many of the “kalanta” or carols having been inherited from the Byzantine era, tomorrow’s concert will be a journey through both the region’s musical heritage and history and a more traditional remembrance of the week’s holidays.

Traditional Greek Carols > Cultural Club Epea Pteroenta (next to Kala Kathoumena Café), 19 Nicholaous St., Nicosia. 6pm. £4 cover for live music. Tel: 99-454896.

The beautiful Chrysaliniotissa Crafts Centre in Nicosia’s picturesque old city is a home for artists and a haven for holiday shoppers. The five little stores teeming with goods made of wax, glass, wood and clay also double as artists’ studios and visitors immediately recognise that they have entered places of creation as well as of purchasing.

With Christmas just days away, the centre’s annual holiday season fair may be worth a visit for those last minute shopping needs. The candle workshop is full of an array of illuminating objects, ranging from the most basic to the unconventional in every color on the spectrum. Next door, in the glass blowing studio, visitors find artisan plates amongst many other decorative and useful objects. Bowls, frames and adornments made of wood fill another studio, while handmade icons are available for purchase in the adjacent space. Finally, handmade mugs, plates, platters and more are for sale in the ceramics workshop.

A quaint coffee shop and a courtyard decorated with a large tree and strings of lights enhance the experience of the Christmas Fair and give a warm welcome to its visitors.

Christmas Fair > Annual fair at the Chrysaliniotissa Crafts Centre. Ends December 24. Open Mon.-Fri. 3pm-8pm. Tel: 22-345303, 22-347465.