Sunday, 13 March 2016 20:59

All hail Queen Elena!

Elena Papadopoulou with the Mayor of Limassol, opening the carnival 2016 Elena Papadopoulou with the Mayor of Limassol, opening the carnival 2016

Elena Papadopoulou is the third Carnival Queen in recent history.

After a period of papier maché Kings and Queens, Loulis Katsounotos was the first ‘real-life’ king of carnival in 2008.

In 2009, Limassol’s Carnival had both a king and a queen, in 2013 it had a queen, and this year Papadopoulou was awarded the honorary role.

There had been several Carnival Queens in the ’60s and ’70s. One that may have been less physically stunning than today’s, but equally popular, was Queen Ismini, who was a very large lady. She is remembered by many for her joyful character and fun contributions to the satirical shows of the time.

Papadopoulou is a relatively young queen. Her passion is handmade costumes and she has been working on the final touches of her own for this year for over three months with the help of friends.

Winning designs

Papadopoulou has been participating in Limassol’s carnival since she was a child. When she had her first daughter, she took the opportunity to create something unique for her to wear.

The results were so successful and she derived such pleasure from creating the costumes, she soon found herself making costumes for her friends and their children as well.

Her first float won awards in the children’s and adult parade. Thanks to the encouragement of her friends and the municipality, Papadopoulou has thus had a long history of creative involvement in the Limassol Carnival, creating costumes, hats and headpieces.

Papadopoulou says she has a particular talent and love for headpieces and many hours are spent on embroidery, making sure everything looks just like the creative designer has conceived it, often applying last minute changes to assure everything is perfect.

An iconographer by profession, the mother of two adult daughters is thrilled to be this year’s queen. She loves everything about carnival.

“I’m in love with Limassol’s Carnival,” she says “and want to help everyone enjoy it. I invite everybody to come to Limassol, the home of this great celebration, with such a long and rich history. We need to pass this history on to our younger generation.”


Papadopoulou was hoping, that one day she would be offered the role as the Queen of Carnival because of her long involvement and passion for the event. She was overjoyed when she was chosen for this year and is glad to have the honour while she is still young as she explains.

Her personal favourite part of the celebrations is the Carnival Ball at the Mediaeval Castle Square. “One can really feel how much Limassolians love their carnival during this evening, the atmosphere is wonderful!” concludes the queen.

This year’s Limassol Carnival started off in glamour, when the Carnival Queen – ‘Limassol, the Diamond of the Mediterranean’ — Elena Papadopoulou, and her entourage entered the city along with the Mayor and the members of the municipal council, the ‘royal family’, groups of serenaders, the Limassol Municipality brass band, the Limassol Majorettes of the Cyprus Girl Guides Association and the Batukinio percussion group.

The final events will take place with this Sunday’s Grand Carnival Parade, the largest to date with 150 groups registered, along Makarios Avenue starting at 1pm and a Farewell Carnival Fiesta at Enaerios parking at 9pm.

Article as published in the Cyprus Weekly of March 11, 2016 

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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