In researching things to do and events on Cyprus, I discovered that February 23, 2015 was a public holiday called Green Monday. This was a new one for me. Green Monday? It is also called Clean Monday, and is the first day of Eastern Orthodox Christian Lent. As I began to research this I discovered that there were several Carnival events in the nearby town of Paralimni leading up to Lent and Green Monday.
On Saturday there was a small procession to the Paralimni town square where there was a party with music and dancing. The music was very loud, and there were speakers on the side streets all along the square with the music playing. We stopped in briefly when things were just getting started around 7pm. I suspect it got busier, but we didn’t stay. Here’s a picture of the Saturday night party:
On Sunday there was a Carnival parade in Paralimni. I’ve heard that the larger cities of Limassol and Paphos compete to have the best Carnival parade.
I have never been anywhere that celebrates carnival so when I read about the carnival parade in Paralimni, I knew we had to go to see what it was all about. I figured there would be floats and kids marching. What I didn’t expect were all the bags of confetti and cans of silly string! 🙂 There were speakers lining the parade route with loud and fun dance music playing.
The parade started with a group of cheerleaders. Notice how clean the street is.
This is King Carnival. He is holding a syringe of Valium. I saw one reference online to his coronation, and they referred to him as King Carny-Valium. I’m not sure of the significance of this. So, things were a bit weird right from the start.
More of the King’s float
There were a lot of dancers, in a variety of different costumes.
Hey, look. There are bees! Darren was happy to see this.
Bees doing the waggle dance.
Here are the beekeepers.
Another float. I have to say that some of significance of the parade was lost on me since I don’t know any Greek!
There was a Candy Crush float with dancers. Notice the spray of canned foam (like a foamy version of silly string) on the left.
Super Mario was a big part of the parade. I’m not sure why!
The weirdness continues… The meaning of this was lost on me. Dancers with plungers, mops and brooms!
Oh, and dusters too!
These guys weren’t in the parade, but were kind enough to pose for me!
I thought these two little penguins were so cute!
More penguins, dancing.
Ooh, the big bad wolf!
So, drinking is part of Carnival. This guy in the parade can’t get his can of beer open, so he’s using a screwdriver!
Notice now that the street has a lot more confetti and silly string on it. Also, notice the hands of the dancers. Many of them are holding a can of silly string!
Want some candy?
Even weirder, a hookah on a hand cart.
These guys were near the end of the parade and were handing out wine.
More penguins, and Eskimos?
This guy had no trouble getting his beer open! Notice the cigarette in the other hand. Lots of people smoke here.
These guys are advertising kid’s parties.
After the parade…
As we headed back to the car, we ran into the Red Riding Hoods with the hookah again. Love the guy on the left fixing his hair!
After the parade there was a party in the town square, but I was tired so we headed home. What a Sunday!
Carnival ended on that Sunday, and Green Monday, or Clean Monday, was the next day. It is the first day of Lent and fasting. Families often take a picnic to a local park and fly kites. We did see a few folks flying kites from the lawn area just in front of our condo.
I’m glad I got to experience Carnival in a small town in Cyprus. It was so great to see the Cypriots laughing, dancing and having fun!