Paralimni’s Carnival Parade

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:

01 Parade

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.

02 Parade

Great wigs!

03 Parade

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.

04 Parade

More of the King’s float

05 Parade

Another float

06 Parade

07 Parade

There were a lot of dancers, in a variety of different costumes.

08 Parade

Hey, look. There are bees! Darren was happy to see this.

09 Parade

Bees doing the waggle dance.

10 Parade

Here are the beekeepers.

11 Parade

Another float. I have to say that some of significance of the parade was lost on me since I don’t know any Greek!

12 Parade

There was a Candy Crush float with dancers. Notice the spray of canned foam (like a foamy version of silly string) on the left.

13 Parade

14 Parade

Super Mario was a big part of the parade. I’m not sure why!

15 Parade

The weirdness continues… The meaning of this was lost on me. Dancers with plungers, mops and brooms!

16 Parade

Oh, and dusters too!

17 Parade

18 Parade

These guys weren’t in the parade, but were kind enough to pose for me!

19 Parade

I thought these two little penguins were so cute!

20 Parade

More penguins, dancing.

21 Parade

More candy…

22 Parade

Ooh, the big bad wolf!

23 Parade

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!

24 Parade

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!

25 Parade

Want some candy?

26 Parade

Even weirder, a hookah on a hand cart.

27 Parade

Spartans!

28 Parade

Another float

29 Parade

These guys were near the end of the parade and were handing out wine.

30 Parade

More drinking.

31 Parade

More penguins, and Eskimos?

32 Parade

This guy had no trouble getting his beer open! Notice the cigarette in the other hand. Lots of people smoke here.

33 Parade

These guys are advertising kid’s parties.

34 Parade

After the parade…

35 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!

36 Parade

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!