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The Lemesos Carnival

Amicale du conseil de l'europe

Although the Carnival festive season has been chronicled in Cyprus since medieval times (under the Franks and Venetians), in Limassol it began growing spectacularly in more modern times, specifically at the start of British rule (late 19th century). This was no coincidence, as it was due to the economic progress of the town during this time period, but also to the special traits that the town's inhabitants developed over time: their outgoing and enthusiastic nature, their inclination towards the arts, satire, dance and song, as well as their love of partying and having fun. Before the carnival had transformed into an urban phenomenon (early 20th century), it was characterized chiefly by people's impulsiveness and their partying spirit. "All households, for example, be they rich or poor, threw their doors open to the masked revellers, and house-to-house friendly visits were a daily occurrence. On Sundays, and following some heavy feasting and partying, almost everyone would put their masks and costumes on, jumped into wagons, or formed into groups that poured out into the main streets and squares, where they carried on their singing, dancing and their pranks, some of which were so successful they would be talked and joked about for days thereafter!"

The first name of Place Kléber was Barfüsserplatz ('square of the barefoot nuns' in German : square of the bare-feet-goers because a Franciscan monastery was standing along the square).

In the 17th century the name changed to Waffenplatz ('arms square' in German).

On 24 June 1840 the square was finally renamed for the French general Jean-Baptiste Kléber, also going by 'Kléberplatz' after German annexation.

During German occupation in 1940-1944, the place was renamed after Karl Roos, a local ethnically German politician executed by French authorities in 1940 on the charges of espionage for Germany.