"Flood" will happen on

"Flood" will happen on
"Flood" will happen on

Unique celebration will be held on Cyprus on June 4, 2012. The Cataclysmos (Κατακλυσμός) or the Flood has been celebrated on the island for nearly two thousand years and has no analogues in other countries. Festival is linked with the Orthodox calendar and is celebrated on the fiftieth day after the Easter on the Day of the Holy Trinity. Therefore, on Cyprus this holiday is often called the "Spirit Day".

The history of Cataclysmos is quite complicated as it is connected with Christian holidays it is considered to be celebrated in commemoration of the Deluge and Noah’s salvation. However, in pagan times a holiday in honor of the goddess Aphrodite was celebrated on Cyprus and on the coast of the island (where the main events of the holiday are organized) in those days there were many temples in honor of the goddess of love.

Now it is unknown, which of these versions is correct, however the Cataclysmos is a bright fun holiday loved by Cypriots and tourists arriving to the island to participate in the festival. Celebration takes place in almost all coastal cities of Cyprus, but the largest the Cataclysmos is held in Larnaca. Early in the morning local residents go to the churches, where are held solemn services, then procession headed by a priest carrying consecrated iron cross, goes to the Finikoudes embankment. There the priest sat in a boat, rows a few meters from the shore and throws the cross into the sea. Immediately after that several men jump into the water and the diver, who gets the cross and returns it to the priest, is named the King of the holiday. King is seated on a throne decorated with seaweed and shells and installed on a high pedestal, where he announces his only decree - everybody goes swimming! It marks the end of the official part of the holiday and almost all visitors of the embankment jump into the sea. On this day on the waterfront are also organized craft fairs and performances of the folk groups.

Ilya Kozlovskiy

Date: 04/06/2012

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