"Kataklysmos" The Flood Festival in Larnaca 2011

Trip Start Mar 03, 2010
Trip End Feb 06, 2011

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Flag of Cyprus  , Larnaca,
Friday, June 10, 2011

"Kataklysmos" the Flood Festival

Leaving behind Pahos, I am on my way home. I was to stay up the mountains the following 3 days but I cancelled my stay. Instead I am going to remain at home since Mum is in hospital to help my sister.

The trip from Limassol to Larnaca is enjoyable with much chatting and exchanging tips with a couple from Serbia who want to spend 6 nights in Larnaca before they fly home. They badly need to find a hotel since their attempts failed and every hotel they called was fully booked. It is not only the peak season but the biggest festival in Larnaca takes place these days making it really hard to find accommodation. I offer to help and I find them the right hotel by just a phone call in minutes. We exchange phone numbers and arrange to meet in the evening for a stroll and probably some beer.

The word 'Kataklysmos Festival' is Greek of course but in English it is called the Flood Festival. The actual day the festival starts is the day of the Holy Spirit. Most of the world knows Jewish/Christian feast of Pentecost, previously called Whitsun in some church circles. It commemorates the descent of the Holy Ghost to the Apostles. The celebrations are also connected to the ancient ceremonies organized in honour of Aphrodite and Adonis. It lasts for a week and Larnaca is apparently the most flamboyant and noisiest city organizing the biggest festival in the island. Similar smaller festivals take place in every coastal city or town but the one in Larnaca is the biggest and the best as it always puts up the biggest shows. I don’t think this celebration takes place anywhere else in the world so if you really want to see the real Cyprus and you happen to be here, don’t miss it.

The custom involves throwing water at one another symbolising the purification of the body and soul. This does not involve only children but adults as well and it is great fun. I remember when young in Cyprus we used to wet each other throughout the day. It was like a game not only for us children but for much older people. I remember of cases when the whole neighbourhood would wet each other and we had a good laugh then. Don’t be surprised if somebody wets you while having a stroll at the festival.

Late in the afternoon I set off on foot to get to the seafront, but as I am passing by my cousin’s house I give her a call and we arrange to get there together. Traffic was heavy and we missed the fireworks as they finished before we reached the promenade so I was kind of disappointed. Anyway, the beach front was like an open-air fair with plenty of kiosks and booths selling different things.  Here you will find all kinds of cheap toys –children’s paradise, fake jewellery and a variety of glittery junk at inexpensive rates. There are food kiosks with Cypriot dishes and delicacies, and when we came to a kiosk selling crepes with chocolate my cousin stuck out there for a few minutes trying to taste every flavour. We had a good laugh watching her. 

I am not fond of crowds and noise however I arranged to meet my new friends from Serbia while Angelo and Katerina continued their stroll. I am returning home on foot but this is not a problem at all. I walk with my new friends up and down the promenade trying to choose a place to sit but I am unrest with all this noise and loud music coming from the festival.  I am out of my depth here and what I really want is to leave. I cannot enjoy the stroll because the fact that Mum is in hospital influences me adversely.

There are different events each evening with much entertainment and activities like swimming racing competitions, canoe and wrestling but tonight there is a concert on the main stage with folklore dancers, and later on a competition of singing. “Chatista” in the Cypriot dialect, (rhythmic) songs. Throughout the place there are different events and happenings and you can choose the one you like best. It seems that I cannot enjoy anything tonight and even though I want to spend some time with my new friends I don’t feel comfortable. It is already late when I decide to walk back home. I truly want to meet my new friends again, but unfortunately I never did. I not only cancelled the 2nd hotel but the 3rd as well and spent time at home. 

The rest of the days in Larnaca we tried to create elbow room for Mum by removing several pieces of furniture from different rooms so when back to be able to walk in more comfort. I remained 4 more days in Larnaca before leaving for some important meetings in Limassol.
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Donna on

Very interesting Popi! Do hope your mother gets well soon.

rossport on

wonderful as usual Popi i feel as if i was beside u on this stroll thru the festival and i hope your mum gets better soon

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