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July 1, 2022

A Larnaca Time Lapse

Here is a quick run-through of the key moments in Larnaca’s history. Get to know this town which has stood the test of time:

  • Larnaca was not always called Larnaca; in fact, it started out as the ancient city of Kition. Legend has it that it was named after the grandson of Noah (i.e. the guy with ark), named Kittim, who was the leader of the town’s first settlers around 6 thousand years ago. 
  • It’s not sure exactly when but at some point in the Byzantine period, the town then became known as Larnaca. Most historians confirm that the name derives from the Greek word ‘larnax’ that means coffin, simply because Kition was the burial site of many important figures in Cypriot history. It is for this reason that Kition and then Larnaca were heavily populated for centuries and as a result, the town was constantly in the spotlight of invaders.
  • Larnaca is a place of cultural overlaps, evident in its architecture, its art and its cultural legacies. Its strategic position and proximity to the sea has drawn the attention of powerful empires throughout history, with visitors including the Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Romans, Byzantines, Ottomans, Franks, Venetians, and the British. Their colonial endeavours have seen Larnaca being used for resources, trade, labour and agriculture.
  • Larnaca is also home to important cultural festivals that mark the island calendar. For example, the Anthestiria or Flower Festival is a pagan celebration that continues today. Through this parade with floats decorated with all types of local flowers and plants, it’s an opportunity to pay homage to spring and the process of rebirth in Mother Nature. It usually takes place in May and unites the locals together in a fun and creative event.
  • And let’s not forget Kataklysmos, a two-week celebration usually in June. Otherwise known as the celebration of The Flood, it commemorates the day of the Holy Spirit in the Orthodox Christian Calendar however there are also connections with the story of Noah and the Great Flood. Aside from the festival at Phinikoudes with many stalls offering games and things to buy, there are also musical performances on show for everyone to enjoy. It also marks the tradition of water-throwing and in houses and out on the streets, you will see people holding garden hoses and big buckets and attacking each other with water bombs!

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