Easter in Cyprus Part 1: Green Monday & Carnival Time!
Easter is a profound and prominent holiday on the island of Cyprus.
Greek Orthodox Easter falls on April 8th this year, and yet beloved traditions and celebrations commence months in advance.
Much like in the UK and other Christian-observing countries in Europe and beyond, the people of Cyprus enter a period of fasting 40 days prior to Easter, known as Lent.
In preparation for abstaining from all meat, eggs, and dairy products, a series of events take place, building anticipation ahead of the first day of Lent – called Green or Clean Monday – which takes place this year on February 19.
11 days prior to the commencement of Lent, families and friends gather together island-wide to indulge in grilled meats, in a day known as ‘Tsiknopempti’, a moniker that pays homage to the tempting smell of the meat (tsikno), and the fact this practice is always observed on a Thursday (pempti).
In contrast to the asceticism adhered to throughout Lent, Tsiknopempti is a day of abundance: you can’t go far in Cyprus without spying a barbecue and juicy souvla being prepared!
With roots stretching back to Ancient Greece, and the commonly held Festival of Dionysia (honouring god of wine and ritual madness, Dionysus), modern-day carnival in Cyprus is still imbued with this sense of ecstasy and sheer elation.
The seaside city of Limassol, in particular, has carved a name for itself as hosting one of the most family-friendly carnival parades Europe-wide.
People wear brightly coloured costumes and delightedly dance through the streets to music in the creation of unbridled revelry to offset and bid farewell to the impending abstention from earthly delights.
A dedicated children’s carnival parade typically takes place one week before Green Monday, with the official 12,000 person-strong edition of the parade being held the Sunday before Green Monday.
Check back soon for part two of our Easter blog post series, detailing all things Green Monday!
And in preparation for cleansing of the body and soul, take advantage of our dedicated Green Monday SPA OFFER:
Book one of the below body wraps and combine it with a complimentary 25-minute detoxifying massage for only €110!
ELEMIS Thousand Flower Detox Body Wrap (60 min)
ELEMIS Cellutox Aroma Spa Ocean Wrap (70 min)
ELEMIS Muscleases Aroma Spa Ocean Wrap (70 min)
ELEMIS Targeted Toning Tightener (60 min)
Offer is valid from February 16-19, 2018 | Booking in advance is essential | Spa Contact Form