Carnival techniques and skills

Perpetuating the Limassol Carnival requires, as it did in the past, the transfer of technical know-how and skills from one generation to the next.

The Carnival techniques relate chiefly to the designers and fabricators of costumes, hats and other accessories, as well as to the designers and fabricators of the chariots. This technical know-how is usually - but not always - transferred among family members and friends, depending on the needs of each era.

The transmission of serenades and carnival songs to the younger generations is mainly done via the bands of serenaders who perform in public spaces (theatres, squares, streets), as well as through the carnival dances held in hotels and other entertainment establishments. Nevertheless, the transmission chiefly occurs through people's participation in serenader bands, where serenades and carnival songs are taught. Nowadays Limassol boasts a great number of amateur and professional musicians who take part in serenader bands.

As far as the cuisine is concerned, the elders pass on to younger people their knowledge of how to prepare the host of seasonal dishes, such as ravioli, patties, the kaloirka (similar to ravioli, with mince meat), various pastries and meat dishes like the daktila, the titsiries, the pishies, the titsiropittes, handmade pasta, sausages, pilau rice with oatmeal, and so on. This culinary knowledge is usually transferred to children by their parents, but can also be acquired through training courses offered at public and private institutes, and lately through television and radio programmes.

These techniques aside, perpetuating what we call the 'carnival spirit' is equally important. Although the carnival spirit is not something that can be taught, it is transmitted from person to person through socializing, participating in public and private dance events, parades, taking part in the house-to-house visits by the pellomaskes, and through the various carnival-related events.