Weather forecasters have given the nod to Cypriot families going on their annual Green Monday picnic, while Larnaca officials warn against flying kites near airports.
Mostly clear weather is expected on Monday, with high temperatures expected to reach 22 degrees inland, 21 along the coast and 17 up in the mountains. No rain is expected, while a change in the weather pattern is expected by mid-week.
Green Monday is a public holiday in the Republic of Cyprus, typically celebrated outdoors usually in open fields, national parks, and on public beaches. Fasting takes place during these nature outings, as meat, dairy and eggs are traditionally not eaten on Green Monday. Strict followers of the Greek Orthodox faith, typically in older age categories, also go on a 40-day fasting, as Green Monday is the first day of lent and lasts until Orthodox Easter.
Foods eaten on Green Monday include vegetables, fruit and a special type of sesame bread "lagana" eaten along with a number of healthy dips, such as tahini, taramosalata, and hummus. A semolina-based dessert pudding is also served along with succulent, semi-crunchy ladyfingers dipped in syrup.
Some parents embark on a family project to build their own elaborate tethers, with bigger wing surfaces for a more impressive lift and drag
Children also fly kites for fun, with some parents buying something from a local store while others embark on a family project to build their own elaborate tethers or balloons, with bigger, longer wing surfaces that better react against the air to create more lift and drag.
While kite flying is not prohibited on Green Monday, Larnaca officials from the mayor’s office issued a statement earlier this week warning kite enthusiasts to stay away from areas near the airport, such as Aliki salt lake, Tekke, Mackenzie beach, as well as along the coastline in Kiti and Pervolia.
“We trust members of the public will show thier understanding and cooperation, in order to avoid unwanted situations,” officials said.
Besides kite flying, lots of other traditional fun games are played on Green Monday by all members of the family, with some activities remaining unchanged from the distant past, such as rope, potato sack, and blindfold games.