When that first rosy-white delicate flower of the almond tree blossoms, spring is near. In Cyprus, it is one of the first signs of warmer weather and brighter days ahead. The almond tree also brings with it traditions and legends for many nations. For the ancient Greeks it symbolised hope and the rebirth of nature, for the Chinese it is tied to female beauty. For us in Cyprus, it marks the arrival of a new season and as such, three villages that are proud homes to almond trees prepare festivities to celebrate its blossoming.
Limnitis village is well known for its almond trees and for the last 16 years it has been organising the Feast of the Almond Tree. This year, an all-day event is coming up on Sunday in the community. From 11am to 4pm, the centre of Limnitis will fill with live music, stalls showcasing traditional almond-based delights and a few surprises. Face painting, folk dancing, a tsatista contest and other common Cypriot activities will take place.
Also on Sunday is the Feast of the Blossoming Almond in Giolou village in Paphos, which returns after two years. Giolou Community Council and the Folk Association Sta Xnaria tis Paradosis will present a day full of performances, traditional bites and guided walks. Live music, song, dance performances and food and drink stalls will be set up at the Elementary School from 11am when a nature walk around the village will once begin.
Another Paphos village will celebrate the almond tree on the same day – the Salamiou community. This will be the village’s first almond tree celebration which it titled Almond Tree, The Bride of Winter. From 12pm a cultural programme will begin at the Salamiou Environmental Centre with performances and speeches to mark the occasion.
Limnitis Feast of the Almond Tree
Limnitis village centre, Limassol. February 19. 11am-4pm
Feast of the Blossoming Almond
Giolou village, Paphos. February 19. 11am
Almond Tree, the Bride of Winter
Salamiou Environmental Centre, Paphos. February 19. 12pm