Whatever the festivals are called, in North Cyprus they usually include a wide variety of activities and events, not all directly relating to the subject contained in the title. So the tulip festival includes a pinball competition, an olive festival a darts competition. And many also throw in a beauty contest for good measure.

March

Tepebasi Tulip Festival

Walks and displays to celebrate the Cyprus tulip (Tulipa Cypria) and a wide range of activities – including bicycle tours, dancing and a pinball competition, in villages near Lapta.

May–June

International Bellapais Music Festival

(wbellapaisfestival.com) A festival of chamber and choral music and dance in one of North Cyprus’s most beautiful settings – Bellapais Abbey.

International Famagusta Art and Culture Festival

(wmagusa.org) Huge music, theatre, ballet, visual arts festival held at various venues in Gazimağusa.

June–July

Girne Living Culture and Art Festival

Turkish and Cypriot drama and music festival held in Girne’s amphitheatre.

Iskele International Folk Dance Festival

Folk dancing groups from all over the world take part in this festival, with evening performances over a week.

Lapta Tourist Festival

(June) Huge range of competitions aimed at and put on by the expat community – pool, table tennis, remote-controlled boats – there’s even an “alcohol-drinking competition” (details at wcyprusscene.com).

Lefke Walnut Festival

(June) Festival of walnut-based sweets in the village in the western part of North Cyprus.

August

Gecitkale Hellim (Halloumi) Festival

A variety of events and demonstrations revolving around the Cypriot cheese halloumi – cooking, photography (not just photographs of cheese), beauty and fashion competitions.

October

International Girne Olive Festival

(Oct) Dance and drama, music, food (with an olive theme) and drink, shooting and darts competitions. Starts in Kyrenia Castle, then moves to the village of Zeytinlik. wgirnebelediyesi.com.

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