Carnival and Green Monday

Today we went to Paralimni, our local town to watch the Carnival parade - our first since coming to Cyprus. I love that the Cypriots know how to party, and therefore Carnival is a season rather than a day!  It is held in the 10 days leading up to Lent in several main towns around the country (and in particular Limassol).  Carnival is also influenced by Ancient Greek traditions where celebrations were held in honour of the God Dionysus.

Leo was not impressed while we were there, I think he was a little overwhelmed by the crowds and he kept saying it was too loud. He did however say when we got home that he had a lovely time at 'the canibal!'   There were certainly a whole lot of people there - I was amazed at all the people on all the roofs around the main square!

Tomorrow is a bank holiday in Cyprus 'Καθαρά Δευτέρα'  (Kathara Deftera)  Clean Monday, or  Green Monday as it's more commonly known.  It is a feast day which is always 7 weeks before the Orthodox Easter Sunday and marks the start of Lent.   The 'Clean' comes from the idea of leaving behind 'sinful attitudes and non fasting foods.

Many Cypriots celebrate with picnics and barbecues. . I've not tried it myself but there is a special kind of bread which is baked on this day called 'Lagana'  There is also a widespread tradition of kite flying.
image credit: Wikipedia
On our first Green Monday in 2010 we went to a beach BBQ. It was however a typically English BBQ as we *may* not have stuck to the 'no meat rule'  but there were no Orthodox Cypriots there to offend by it, maybe a vegetarian or too though!


  1. Lovely. So different to my day here in the UK!

  2. Thanks for explaining this, and I bet you got it right! Looks like a great parade to watch, lots of fun.


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