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Cyprus Carnival
A woman with her face painted reacts as she dances through in the street during a traditional parade to mark the end of the carnival period in southern port city of Limassol, southern of capital Nicosia, Cyprus. Thousands of people gather every year to celebrate the Carnival in the streets. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias) - 2012 archive photo

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In Cyprus, the best Carnival outside of Rio

Yahoo Lifestyle Entertainment
4 March 2014

February in Limassol, Cyprus is marked by a strange smell. Literally, a stink. But it's a smell the people love, and look forward to with great anticipation. Cypriots call the smell Tsikna, and Tsiknopempti literally means Stinky Thursday, but don't let that put you off. It describes the appetizing taste of lamb and pork roasting over the fire.

As with Carnivals everywhere, Tsiknopempti is the big celebration before Ash Wednesday. Meat in all its variants is high on the menu during Kreatini or Meat Week, the last chance to tuck in before the meatless period of Lent. Though Limassol Carnival is smaller in scale compared to those in Brazil, it has still earned the reputation of being the best carnival outside of Rio. Accessible, friendly and relatively safe, it is also inflected with a sense of satire and fun, with performers poking fun at politics and the current economic situation. Politicians are not spared - floats and inflatable figures lampoon them head-on. Then, of course, there are masked balls, parades and events.

Enjoy these images from Cyprus carnivals past and present

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