What is Flood Festival in Cyprus about?

Splashy day on water
By Edite Strautmane
Published on 26 May 2018, viewed 3290 times
Category: Travel Insights
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What might seem more like a disaster or punishment from Gods for many other nations, is a rather positive celebration in Cyprus! Everyone on the island is planning how to spend this time of Kataklysmos.

‘Kataklysmos’ (translation: ‘Flood Festival’) is a religious celebration that honours the Holy Spirit and overlaps with the local holiday, called 'White Monday' or Pentecost, which marks 50 days after the Greek Orthodox Easter. Therefore, the date of the bank holiday changes every year. The event usually takes place on the day of the Holy Spirit. It commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles. However, in Cyprus celebration is connected to some of the ancient celebrations to honour the island's all-time favourite couple - Aphrodite and Adonis. 'Kataklysmos' in the book of Genesis and in the Greek mythology appears as Deukalion "The destruction by flood of almost all living creatures, in order to give birth to a new and moral generation." 

That is the reason why water is the main focus of the festival with water games, concerts, folk music, poetry, dancing, boat races, sometimes even throwing water on each other. Now, this might not make everyone happy, but it can be fun in the right company! Whatever activities you choose in coastal cities of Cyprus, always remember that getting wet can be part of the celebration.


Larnaka is famous for its biggest flood festival in Cyprus, celebrating Kataklysmos for several days. In Agia Napa also the festival goes on for a few days, including dancing, poetry readings, water sports shows and concerts in their program. 


In Paphos, this festival usually is celebrated outside the castle at the harbour. 

This is a great day to spend near or in the water, so be ready to celebrate and enjoy!

Edite Strautmane
Hi, I’m Edite, I am part of the core team of __SITE_NAME__ and also one of the Insiders.