It all started last Thursday with ‘Tsiknopempti,’ a day where all around Cyprus everyone had a barbecue, with souvlakia, sausages, halloumi and pitta bread being ravenously swallowed down and enjoyed.
Everyone now has rummaged through cupboards to find their old carnival wear, or buy a new one and participate in the great carnival parade, happening right now in the centre of Limassol. You can’t help but get carried away by the fun, the colours, the confetti and the crowds lining the streets, the parties and the revelling. Limassol explodes with excitement and the good weather we are having adds to the happy, fun mood. Everyone joins in on streets and in the old town, dressed up in hats and feathers and masks.
Carnival in Cyprus is associated with the beginning of the fasting for Easter, with Green Monday, which is a holiday being the official first day of fasting, with everyone eating vegetables and fish and if it is a nice day, spending it outside in the countryside, flying kites. Green Monday comes when the carnival fun ends and everyone tries to recover from the partying and drinking of the night before, still in a sort of carnival daze and reverie.
The tradition of the carnival perhaps reminds us of our Venetian roots, a part we have taken from our past and adapted it to suit us today. Limassol especially has always been known as a town of enjoyment and the carnival is no exception. People look forward to it. It is a chance to forget all your troubles and masquerade if only with just a hat and feathers.