AS preparations get underway for Kataklysmos (Festival of the Flood) and Orthodox Whit Monday celebrations in Paphos, hotels in the area are reporting that they are almost fully booked for the long weekend.
Thousands are expected to visit the district’s coastal areas during the long weekend, as many chose Paphos as a preferred location and hotels say they are close to 100% occupancy.
The Thanos Hotel group which operate Almyra, Annabel and Annassa hotels are around 97% booked and the Kanika Hotel and Resorts which operate The Alexander the Great and the Olympic lagoon are also ‘heavily booked.’
A spokeswoman for the Kanika hotel chain said that pre- bookings of foreign visitors have been greatly boosted by Cypriots that chose Paphos for their holidays.
“We are heavily booked for the Kataklysmos period and our guests are a mixture of holidaymakers and domestic tourists,” she said.
Visitors descend on coastal towns in Cyprus to enjoy the traditional celebrations which generally include dancing, singing, swimming competitions, races, and throwing water.
The feast of the Pentecost is marked 50 days after Greek Orthodox Easter and celebrations are usually held in Limassol, Larnaca, Paphos, Ayia Napa, Protaras and other smaller seaside towns.
A full programme of events will take place in Paphos including: At 8pm- traditional Cypriot dances at the Castle Square in Kato Paphos and guest folk performers from Georgia, to celebrate Paphos strengthening ties with Batumi. Entrance is free.
On Sunday, celebrations also get underway at the harbour at 8pm and will include traditional Cypriot and Cretian dances. There will also be a musical concert by Christos Sikkes.
On Monday at 4pm at Paphos harbour, the traditional aquatic water games and competitions will get underway, which are organised by the municipality of Paphos, the Paphos nautical club, the cultural association of Kato Paphos and the Panayia Theoskepasti church committee.
Traditional dancing and music by Chryspa from Hellas will follow at 8pm.
Numerous stalls are setting up along the promenade selling all sorts of traditional fare such as, Loukoumades, (a deep fried dough soaked in syrup), traditional sweets made from grapes- Palouse, Shudgukous (Suzuko), as well as imported items such as clothes and children’s toys and games.
Polis Chrysochous will also join in the celebrations with a programme that gets underway on Sunday at 12 noon at Saint Andronicos Park (opposite the town hall). The event is part of an integrated programme by local authorities, “Together- Towards an open society” and is co funded by the asylum, migration and integration fund and the Republic of Cyprus.
Cypriot dances, as well as Georgian, Pontian and Sri Lankan dance will be showcased. Food tasting of Cypriot and International cuisine will also be provided, according to the local municipality. The event is being held under the auspices of the labour minister Zeta Emilianidou.
Mondays’ programme includes water based entertainment at Latchi harbour. Between 4-6pm, Latchi water sports are offering free boat entertainment and from 6pm-7pm, the water based competitions, including walking a greasy pole, will get underway.
The music and dance part of the programme will commence at 8pm.