When Confucius said “eating is the most important thing in life” he affirmed the important role that food has historically played in Chinese culture and civilisation. Though it is difficult to generalise about a cuisine that has many so many regional variations, there are some consistencies in this country’s extensive gastronomical traditions.

The Chinese way of eating is characterised by certain ideas and beliefs about food that actively affect the ways in which food is prepared and taken. The overriding idea about food in China is that the kind and the amount of food one takes is intimately relevant to one’s health.

Food not only influences health as a matter of general principle but should also be selected based on one’s health condition at that time.

Regardless of it is cuisine of the North or the South, Chinese food pays close attention to color, aroma, and flavor. For the Chinese, food should satisfy not only the tongue and the appetite but also the eyes, the nose, the imagination, the mind and the soul.

It is the sophistication and history of innovation in Chinese cuisine that the Hilton Cyprus seeks to celebrate this week in its Chinese Food Festival. A wide selection of dishes will give eaters an introduction to the breadth of China’s cuisine and the opportunity to sample some classic specialties like Peking Duck.

Until Saturday evening, the Hilton’s Fontana Restaurant will be cooking up the food of China and invites both adults and children to taste and experience its flavors.

Chinese Food Festival

November 29-December 4. Fontana Restaurant, Hilton Hotel. Dinner begins at 8.30pm. £15 for adults and £10 for children. Tel: 22-377777 (ext. 3040).

Fifteen years ago, the Municipality of Nicosia and the Anastasios G. Leventis Foundation opened the Leventio Museum to the public and thereby inaugurated the first historical museum in Cyprus. Located in the Laiki Yitonia neighborhood, the Museum presents the history and social development of the city of Nicosia from the Chalcolithic period (3,000 B.C.) to the present day. Its sizeable collection displayed in its permanent galleries represents over 5,000 years of the capital’s history and encompasses a wide range and of objects including archaeological artifacts, costumes, photographs, medieval pottery, maps and engravings, jewels and furniture.

Along with its permanent exhibition that guides visitors from present day Nicosia through its extensive past, the Musuem also organises and hosts a number of temporary exhibitions, lectures, educational programmes and other events.

The collection of the Leventio Museum continues to be enriched primarily on account of the hard work of the Association of the Friends of the Museum. By operating a museum shop, the Association raises money for collections and offer visitors souvenirs, copies of antique objects, books and other unique gifts.

Now, for one day only, the Association of the Friends of the Museum is holding a 40% sale on some of the shop’s merchandise and promises reasonable prices on hand-made products related to the Museum’s artifacts. The public is invited to attend the sale, buy objects representing Nicosia’s rich history and support the continued excellence of the Museum’s exhibitions.

Leventio Museum Shop Sale

Up to 40% off merchandise. December 1 from 9am-1pm and 2pm-5.30pm. Offices of the Leventis Foundation, 40 Galdstonos St., Nicosia. Tel: 22-671475.

Virginia Woolf’s 1928 novel Orlando is a story of transformations that may very well constitute the author’s most intense considerations of gender. Long before everyone else was talking about gender-bending and years before the acclaimed movie adaptation of Orlando, Woolf wrote this comic masterpiece as a fanciful love letter, disguised as a biography, to her beloved friend Vita Sackville-West.

Orlando enters the book as an Elizabethan nobleman and leaves the book three centuries and one change of gender later as a liberated woman of the 1920s. Along the way this most rambunctious of Woolf’s characters engages in sword fights, trades barbs with 18th century wits, has a baby, and drives a car. This is a deliriously written novel that has rightfully carved its place in both classic feminist literature and the Western canon.

It was the depth and poetic beauty of Orlando that compelled local actor/director Lea Maleni to adapt the novel for the stage and undertake the direction of a performance that premiered earlier this year at London’s Bloomsbury Festival. With a stunning performance of the title role by actress Stela Fyrogeni and masterful direction by Lea Maleni, the Theatre Persona’s Orlando is provocative, poignant and fulfilling.

For nine weeks, the production made Nicosia its home and is now preparing for its move to Limassol. Audiences in the capital have just two more opportunities to catch the show before it reopens for three weeks of performances in late January at the ETHAL Technochoros.

Written by Virginia Woolf and performed by the Persona Theatre Company. Last performances in Nicosia on November 30 and December 1. Theatre of Ayios Andreas Agora, 8.30pm. Tickets £6 and £4. Tel: 22-773571. In Greek.