Larnaca’s Famous Festival!
My city is known for the best festival of the year! That festival is ‘Whit Monday’! This event is held once a year and it lasts for 1-2 weeks! This festival takes place in all sea side towns and cities, but the most well-known is the one here in Larnaca!
Larnaca is most proud of this festival as many travel from other cities to visit and see all that Larnaca has to offer during these weeks. The festival’s events are only for one week but a few days prior and a few days after that one week, one can still find so much to do and see at the festival.
There are a few names for this festival. Some know it as ‘Whit Monday’ others know it as ‘Monday of the Holy Spirit’ and it is also known as ‘Pentecost Monday’. In Greek we know it as ‘Kataklysmos’ (“Κατακλυσμός”). Kataklysmos means ‘flood’.
This holiday is celebrated on the day after Pentecost and it is a moveable holiday as it is determined by the date of our Easter. This is a national and church holiday for us Cypriots.
It is known to us Greek – Cypriot Orthodox that the date of the Pentecost is moveable due to our Easter also being a moveable celebration. It’s a celebration of the Holy Spirit descending upon the Apostles and Jesus’ Disciples about 7 weeks after Jesus’ resurrection.
Kataklysmos is more of a Flood Festival than any other celebration. We all know the story of Noah’s Ark right? Well this is what the festival is about. Greek-Cypriot Orthodox believes in the Greek myth of Deucalion and the ancient ceremonies that were in honour of Aphrodite and Adonis. So the destruction of all living creatures by a flood occurred in order to give way to create a generation without evil, a generation with morals and love.
This is the reason why we all have water fights on the day. On Monday we all get our water balloons and water guns and have a water fight. Other kids use buckets of water and we chase each other a get all drenched in water. It is so much fun! Well, it used to be at least, when I was a kid and teenager. I guess as we get older we don’t do all the fun stuff! Now we end up seeing all the kids in the neighbourhood doing all the fun stuff.
The festival has so much to offer that there is something to do and see for all ages. There are games to play, traditional food and sweets to buy, traditional dance performances to see, Cypriot handmade traditional products to buy, live music by famous Cypriot and also Greek singers and so much more.
Kataklysmos festival in Larnaca takes place along Finikoudes Promenade. It stretches all along from one end to the other. The street remains closed from the afternoon up till late at night. You will see the street full of people walking up and down buying things, eating traditional food and sweets and having a good time.
Every year there seems to be more and more stalls showcasing their products whether it is food, sweets, clothing or crafts. This year there are stalls with cotton candy, popcorn, hot dogs, sandwiches, crepes, ice-cream and so much more!
As for those of you who are not interested in food, there are plenty of stalls with games. There is a wheel of fortune game, a pin-ball like game; which has to do with pure luck, a game where you toss a ring around bottles and more!
The best stalls however are those that show the traditional craftsmanship’s of Cyprus. This is something you should not miss. You can find woven baskets and iron tools even carved wooden walking sticks.
Later on at night there is a program in two areas of the promenade. In the one area there is a stage usually for the children of our schools and other organisations that put on shows, plays, dancing and of course singing.
On the other stage, this is in the center of the promenade; they usually have a program that is more tailored to adults. This is where the famous singers also come and perform. The program starts off with traditional Cypriot poems called ‘tsiatista’. This is a type of poem that has a singing rhythm to it. It then eases into dancing and singing and late at night the famous singers go up on stage.
As I said before there is something at the festival for all ages. Even my grandparents go and enjoy these programs. We have so many tourists as well who love this sort of thing and the best part is that to watch these programs you do not have to pay. It is free. All you have to pay is what your will eat, drink, buy or play games. The entertainment part is free!
This festival is a great opportunity for anyone visiting Cyprus during this week as you get to see a lot of traditional Cypriot culture.
Larnaca has so much to offer for any tourist and local alike. For the top 10 things to see in Larnaca you can read more here.
Those of you who are in Cyprus now and would like to see the program for this week’s festival, you can see it here.
Maybe you would like a great café to sit and relax? You can see my top 5 café’s in Larnaca here.
What do you think of this festival?
Would you like to visit Larnaca during this festival?