I joined facebook mostly because a lot of my Cypriot cousins were on it and I thought it would be a good way of keeping in touch with them as well getting to know some of them better. My father’s family name was Trimithioti and my cousin Michael has set up a group page called Trimithiotides United where any family related news is posted. A few weeks ago it was Easter and there seemed to be a flaounes competition going on to see whose flaounes tasted the best. It’s all written in Greek and just to make life more complicated for me, it is written in English characters, so the words are an approximation. My Greek is limited, to say the least so I cannot always get the whole meaning of the exchange and as we do in English, they tend to use a sort of slang phrasing so I guess! But I got the gist that it was a competition.
This week there seemed to be a lot of pictures of flowered wreaths hung on doors, being posted which had been made by various cousins. I hadn’t a clue what was going on so I asked Androula. It seems that this is a custom in Cyprus to celebrate the first day of May which is an important time of fertility celebrated throughout Europe. The wreaths are made the evening before.
In Pagan and Celtic traditions the 1st of May is known as Beltane representing the beginning of summer and a time of fertility and frolicking to spread the seed! It’s marking a midpoint in the calendar between the spring Equinox and summer Solstice . It’s echoed in the autumn by Samhain marking the end of summer. I think the idea of a flowered wreath on your door is a rather lovely way to welcome in the summer, even though here in the UK it still feels pretty wintery. Maybe I’ll make myself a flowery wreath to hang on my front door and at least pretend that the sun is shining!