Fifty days after Easter comes "Kataklysmos" - the Day of the Holy Ghost. In Cyprus it is celebrated by fairs held on the water fronts. This celebration is said to have descended to us from the feasts in honour of Aphrodite which were also held on the water fronts. To this day people go to pay homage to the "holy water fronts" , where water sports are held and people go around in boats and even splash each other just for the fun of it.

The 29th. of June is the day of the Apostles Peter and Paul, and this is considered a very great holiday and is also called "Pascha". To prepare oneself for this feast, one is supposed to fast, although strangely enough it is not always possible. You see, one is expected to fast for the same number of days as there are between Easter and the 3rd. of May, St. Mavras Day, but should Easter actually fall on the 3rd. of May or later - which is quite possible when you remember the manner used to fix Easter dates - then there will be no fasting days at all. On the other hand, should Easter happen to fall early, then one might well find oneself fasting for a considerable length of time.

September 14th. is the day of the Holy Cross. It commemorates the day in the 4th. century when St. Helena found the Holy Cross in Jerusalem, a piece of which she brought and left in Cyprus whilst journeying back to Byzantium. Although, during her stay here, St. Helena gave instructions for the monastery of Stavrovouni-Cross of the Mountain- to be built, it is not there but at Omodhos that the relic in a golden cross is kept and brought out for adoration on the one special day every year. On the day before the 14th. people fast in order to be able to go to church next morning and drink holy water called "drosos" -dew.

The 29th. of September is St. John the Baptist's Day and people in the villages cut their onions from the top in reverent memory of his beheading. It is again a fasting day.

St. Andrew's Day (30th. November) was also widely celebrated with a big fair at Apostolos Andreas' Monastery which is situated at the extreme tip of Cyprus on the "panhandle" , a description most fitting if you remember the outline of our Island on the map.

There are many other saints whose names we celebrate, including the Cypriot-born St. Spyridon and St. Neophytos and St. Mamas. Most of them have a special fair at a particular village.

Thus we come full circle around the year, fasting about 110-160 days in all, provided we have been as strict about it as are the old Cypriot villagers, but having also enjoyed a good many feasts. Of course, in the towns life is rather different. Although there are many people who do observe the fasting-times very strictly, the majority tend to fast for only a week or three days before the big holidays.