Another weekend spent outdoors in the warm sunshine spending time in the mornings walking in the surrounding area of Coral Bay. We have also spent an hour or so driving around to see what was going on locally. It seems that Coral Bay has come to life now that the weather is getting warmer.
The countryside is so spectacular at this time of the year from the wild flowers mentioned already to the grape vines and to the farmers baling the hay.
There are many things happening with businesses getting themselves ready for the new season. A few new buildings are going up – Theo Sunset Hotel is being extended and looks as though it will be completed for the new season. The “Sea You Beach Bar” is being upgraded and they are laying lovely decking. It was definitely worth a visit here yesterday (first time this year) to see what was happening. It is one of our favourite places to sit and “shoot the breeze” the odd weekend and watch the world go by.
What a fabulous weekend it has been with still another day’s holiday tomorrow in Cyprus to celebrate Orthodox Shrove Monday. In Cyprus the holiday is called “Green Monday” or “Clean Monday”.
Green Monday begins the season of Great Lent in Eastern Orthodox Churches. Great Lent corresponds to Lent as found in Western Christianity, although the length of the period is calculated in different ways. They both use a period of 40 days between the beginning and end of Lent, because of the 40 days that Jesus is said to have spent fasting the desert. However, Western Christendom doesn’t count Sundays because Jesus is recorded as having resurrected on a Sunday, whereas Eastern Orthodox churches do count Sundays.
This first day of Great Lent is called “Clean Monday” because Christians should begin the holy season with “clean hearts and good intentions.” It is also because the season of Lent is regarded as a time for when Christians should clean up their spiritual house, coming to terms with their lives and rededicating themselves to a more holy and righteous way of living.
Clean Monday is a day of strict fasting. Christians are not allowed to eat from midnight to noon and can have no meat at all. Christians are also expected to spend extra time praying during the day and reading from the Bible.
Because Clean Monday is also considered to mark the first day of spring, Greeks tend to celebrate it with outdoor activities and picnics rather than fasting and prayer. These activites are often called ‘koulouma’.
Traditional foods include olives, octopus, and shrimp. In addition to picnics, outdoor activities used to celebrate the day include flying kites, dancing, music, etc.
It should be a fun day and we are looking forward to heading down to the sea front at Paphos to find out what happens on this day every year. I’ll keep you posted once we have been.