The carnival might have finished but here, the “celebration” still goes on . Having picnic lunch, barbecue and spending the day with their families in open areas including flying kites are the Cypriot (and Greek) tradition on how they celebrate Green Monday.
Green Monday or Clean Monday or also know as Pure Monday to mark the first day of Lent Term in Eastern Orthodox tradition. It resembles leaving behind sinful attitudes and non-fasting food (meats, diary products, etc). It’s a public holiday in Cyprus (and Greece) and is usually celebrated with outdoor activities.
To get a feel on Green Monday, we went to the place where many locals go to have lunch picnic and flying kite. It’s in a picnic site in between Kapetes village and Macharias Monastery, about 45 mins drive from Nicosia. Arrived at mid day and we’re lucky to still get one final table (yes, literally the final one) :).We went to the same site last year and similar to last year’s experience, this place was full of Cypriots families who came in large group – old, young and children. Very lively. I think we’re the only ‘three’ people and it was obvious we’re the only Asian family in this picnic site. But people are quite lovely and we had some smile exchange 🙂
Normally, after occupying a spot, table with bench for some 8-10 people, men usually grill all the food in a separate place (good arrangement to ensure safety of the forest), while ladies usually preparing some vegetables/salad. Cypriots’ grilling skills is very advance as they’re very used to it (note that most Mediterranean Food is grilled). Last year we even saw they used the car’s battery (?) to help rolling out the grill :). There are also playgrounds so while parents/adult preparing food, children are playing around…beautiful place for family really.
So what the Indonesian family did? We grilled the food at home (too much grill for only three people), and we kept the food warm in the insulated hot pot. We brought Lagana (special bread baked for green monday only), salad, baked potatoes and barbecue ribs (yup, we broke the ‘rule’ as it’s not fasting food:)…
After lunch, we walked around, and playing kite. The weather was rather cool, not too cold and not too warm, so it’s a perfect day :). And yes, we flew the kite 🙂
Happy Green Monday for all Cypriots (and Greek). We wish you all a blessed 40-day fasting period.