Tuesday, 24 December 2013

The Night Before Christmas

Picture Courtesy of Face in Hole.
It is the night before Christmas, and I thought it would be the perfect time to write a Christmas blog post. There has been much toing and froing, shopping and dashing about, or course we cats don't have any input in all this activity, we leave all that to the humans. We certainly join in with the Christmas festivities, particularly when there is roast turkey or roast lamb around. If you remember my blog post from last year, I was bemoaning that you can only find turkey at Christmas in Cyprus. Well I sadly have to say that hasn't change, much to my disappointment.

This year on for my Facebook profile I decided to be a Christmas elf again, but this time in a snow globe. I think I look OK as an elf, although I am not a fan of the curly toed shoes, I can not imagine what it would be like trying to walk in them.

I was recently reading the poem Twas the Night before Christmas, written by Clement Clarke Moore and published in the New York Sentinel in 1823. The poem was published at request anonymously and was not revealed until 1844 that Clement Clarke Moore was the author of the poem; after he published a book of his poems.  I decided it might be fun to do my own version of  Twas the Night Before Christmas instead of my usual blog posts; so here it is:



Twas the night before Christmas, all was quiet as a mouse,
Even dad wasn't snoring and disturbing the house.
We hung up our stockings over the fireplace.
Sooty's stocking was so big it took all of the space.

We were then snuggled up in our cosy beds,
Dreams of catnip mice danced through our heads.
Mum had her cocoa and Dad his night cap,
Then I settled down for a very long nap.

When outside I heard the most terrible din,
I jumped from my bed, who's trying to get in?
I leapt to the window,my heart starting to race
And pull open the window at a very fast pace.

The moon and the stars were a beautiful sight,
Moonlight shone brightly it barely looked night.
Suddenly I saw something, oh what a surprise,
A sleigh and eight reindeer appeared before my eyes.

Who was driving the sleigh so nimble and quick,
I knew then at once it must be St Nick.
The reindeer flew through the night and onwards they came,
St. Nick whistled and shouted and called them their names.

"Dasher, Dancer, come on Prancer and Vixen!
now Comet, now Cupid! come on Donner and Blitzen!"
They flew by the houses and over the wall,
"Faster reindeer come on now, dash away all."

Just like a lightning streak through the night sky
They moved so quickly; like a blink of an eye.
Up to the roof tops the reindeer team flew,
The sleigh filled with toys and St. Nicholas too.

And then all of a sudden I heard on the roof,
The clippity, clapping of a reindeer hoof.
A ran into the house and knocked over a chair,
Down the chimney came St.Nick and was just standing there.

All dressed in red and white, from his head to his toe,
Covered in a layer of soot, but his face it did glow.
He had on his back a sack full of toys,
What a wondrous sight for all girls and boys.

He had rosy red cheeks and full rounded belly,
This reminded me of the Santa I had seen on the telly.
A Twinkle in his eye and upon his face a wide smile,
I was so in awe I stood in one spot for a while.

With a wink and a quick nod of his head
He whispered to me "It's time for you to go to bed."
He filled the stockings, then turned and tapped the side of his nose
And as quick as a flash up the chimney he arose.

He jumped into his sleigh and away he did dash,
Then they were gone as quick as a flash.
But I heard him bellow when he drove out of sight,
"Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night."











All that remains is for me to say is, "Have a Very Merry Christmas, with lots of good cheer, and I will see you once again in the New Year."









Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Famous Felines of Fiction - Part Two

Hello dear reader,as promised here is part two of Famous Felines of Fiction.

Macavity the Mystery Cat


Macavity is one of  the many cats in the book Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot. The book is a collection of poems which T.S. Eliot wrote in letters to his godchildren in the 1930s. The poems are "written" by Old Possum. The first edition of the book appeared in 1939.

Macavity is a master criminal but he too clever to leave any incriminating evidence of his crimes; crimes such as stealing milk and cheating at cards. T.S. Eliot modelled him on Sherlock Holmes nemesis Professor Moriarty.

Old Possum's cats also found fame in the Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Cats.



Aristotle

Aristotle is a children's fiction book written by Dick King-Smith and illustrated by Bob Graham. Aristotle is a kitten who lives with a good witch called Bella Donna. He depends on the magical powers of Bella Donna to keep him his nine lives as he is often puts himself in the path of danger, with his various adventures.








The Cat in the Hat



Dr Seuss; real name is Theodor Geisel; wrote The Cat in the Hat in 1954. The story was in response to an article written by John Hersey in Life magazine, titled : "Why Do Students Bog Down on First R? It was about the national reading problem. Hersey was critical of the books given to read to primary school children. He complained that the pictures were too dull and the children in books did not reflect the behaviour of real children.

Ted (Theodor) a writer and illustrator was asked by to product a book suitable for six/seven years old. He was given a list of words that the age group would recognise. And so The Cat in The Hat was born. The cat is cheerful and wacky and performs amazing tricks

The book was extremely popular letting to other Dr Seuss books. The Cat in the Hat was voted one of the Top 100 Picture Books of all Time in a poll in 2012.


Ginger

Ginger is a tomcat and a character in one of Beatrix Potter's stories; The Tale of Ginger and Pickles. The book is the tale of two shopkeepers Ginger the cat and Pickles a terrier. Their shop sells various goods amongst their customers are mice and rabbits, Ginger and Tom both have problems trying to control their predatory instinct when they come into the shop. 

Tabitha Twitchit (another cat) has the only other shop in the village but she refuses credit to anyone, thus reducing the amount of customers. Ginger and Pickles unwisely give unlimited credit to customers and eventually goes out of business. 

The story was published in 1909 originally with black and white illustrations by Beatrix Potter.




So there you have another four Famous Felines of Fiction, some familiar and maybe some not. There are of course many other felines of fictions, I will share some more with you another day.

I am currently working on a book of poems and hopefully I will publish it before the end of the year. See you next week.


Friday, 25 October 2013

Famous Felines of Fiction - Part 1

If any of you are regular readers of my blog posts you make notice a few changes to The Five Cats Chronicles blog. I know it is Autumn but I thought it was time to have a Spring clean, a spring clean in Autumn??? Yes well if you know me you should know by now I try not to be too predictable, some may say I am a bit different and others..... well you get the picture.  I hope you like the new look Five Cats Chronicles, mum and I spend hours and hours last weekend trying to come up with something original.

FREE BOOK!!!

 MOL Did I get your attention there, that was the intention anyway, as Chief Promotions Executive (impressive title don't you think) of Mum's books (at the the moment book) I am happy to announce that we have a Book Giveaway on Goodreads. Goodreads members can enter the Giveaway; see below, to win a paperback copy of Lilibet's Secret Diary.




Goodreads Book Giveaway

Lilibet's Secret Diary #1 by Pauline Christou

Lilibet's Secret Diary #1

by Pauline Christou

Giveaway ends January 01, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win
Famous Felines of Fiction, now there are many Famous Fictional Felines; I wrote a chapter about them in my Little Book of Cats. But how many felines are there in Fiction, I decided to find some and share them with you over the next two posts.
The Cheshire Cat

I expect many of you have heard about the Cheshire Cat in Alice In Wonderland. He is the constantly smiling and appearing and disappearing cat in the book by Lewis Carroll. But do you know why the cat is always smiling?
To grin or smile like a Cheshire cat is an idiom that mean to grin or smile broadly. It is thought that this came from the fact that Cheshire had a lot of dairy farms, hence the reason why the cat is smiling the abundance of milk and cream. I think I may have already explained this one in a previous post, but I have included it for those of you who haven't already seen it. 

You can download a free ebook version of Alice In Wonderland with illustrations by Arthur Rackham here: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/28885



'But I don't want to go among mad people,' said Alice
'Oh, you can't help that,' said the cat 'We're all mad here.




Puss in Boots

Puss in Boots, or Le Chat Botte as it was known in France. Is a literary fairy tale written by Charles Perrault in the 17th century. The cat uses deceit and tricks to win the hand of marriage to a princess for his master, and to also gain power and wealth for himself. 
The story was included in a book of eight fairy stories by Charles Perrault called Tales of Passed times and it proved to be very popular. You can find the whole book here: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/33511/33511-h/33511-h.htm you may notice a number of very familiar fairy stories.
You can also download a free ebook version here: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/3254 

Puss in Boots also appears in Tchaikovsky's ballet; Sleeping Beauty and his story regularly is performed in Pantomimes and more recently in the Shrek series of films. 




Carbonel: The King of Cats

Here is a more contemporary story, written by Barbara Sleigh in 1955. Carbonel - The King of Cats is the first of a trilogy. Rosemary decides she would like to make some money during the summer holiday, by cleaning houses. She goes to the market and is persuaded by an old lady to buy a second rate broom and a cat. But all is not what is appears and Rosemary finds herself with not just any cat and not just any old broom either. 

The old lady is a witch the broom is a magic flying broom and the cat is a prince of royal blood. 




Click on the image to find out more.

I hope I have whetted your appetite for Fictional Felines, be back with more next time.





As promised I said I would announce the nominations for the Purrime Ministerette of Plant Purrth Award

Drum roll please..........


  1. Tabby Cat Club
  2. Felix and Jasper Blogalot
  3. Abby Dawg Blog





This award come with seven rules that have to be complied with to formally accept it.

  1. Bow for your Purrime Ministerettes and confirm on your blog you have done so.
  2. Show a picture of you watching Purrime Ministerette movies. Pictures or it didn’t happen.
  3. Tell Planet Purrth that it needs a change and explain what kind of change you have in mind.
  4. Ask your Purrime Ministerettes what you never dared to ask before.
  5. Bow again for your Purrime Ministerettes and confirm on your blog you have done so.
  6. Forward the Purrime Ministerette of Planet Purrth Award to at least 3 other blogging anipals.
  7. Do not change the rules without explicit written Purrime Ministerette purrmission.
  8. Actually there isn't a rule number eight just checking to see if you are reading this blog properly. 
So what has been going on in my patch lately, well to be honest not very much of late. We have all been getting along fairly well lately, apart from yesterday. Sooty has been in a bit of a grumpy mood these past three days and nobody seems to know why. I caught a swipe from him yesterday, which I must say was absolutely not necessary Sooty so sort yourself out please. 

Someone decided it was a good idea to leave the humans a present of a dead bird three days ago; they as usual were not very happy with it. Hang on a minute maybe that is why Sooty is in a grumpy mood. I also must add that is wasn't me, that left the dead bird on the patio. I was sleeping inside the house at the time. 
Anyway I have to go now as I has my furry backside is aching from sitting in one place too long. See you all again soon. 

Purrrrs

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Cat and Mouse

Hello dear readers, we are well into October now and the weather has finally started to get cooler at night time, so we are spending more time indoors at night. The other I spent the night on mum and dad's bed, something that I don't do very often so they should feel very privileged. All was fine until dad move his feet at about 3 AM there was me thinking OOOH A Mousie and I pounced, big mistake; it wasn't a mouse but his big toe. He didn't appreciate getting a scratched big toe. So I was in trouble, although at that time I decided it might be a good idea to go out and look for some real mice. Do you know that around 3 AM is the time we cats like to go hunting.

Mouse ?????
I have been spending more time at home lately, which is made mum and dad more happy. I think we cats are getting along much better than we used too, although Tabby the feral cat, does get a bit jealous when we are eating. He usually sneaks into the kitchen to see if we have left any food in our bowls, Humpf NO WAY!! that is my job. I am the official cat food waste disposal unit in my house and no, feral Tabby is not taking that position away from me. As many of you probably know by now I LOVE my food. MOL


I have decided to have another book launch party on Twitter this time on Saturday 26th October. If any of you Twitterers feel like coming along here is the invitation link, all are welcome: http://twtvite.com/u8pivaqgjchysk2 but of course you have to have a Twitter account to join in the fun.

Toes ?????
By Jackhynes (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons





There is a dedicated page on this blog for the books written by myself and my human Pauline Christou. There will be more coming up in the near future as we have a few more books in the pipeline. Also my little book of cats will soon be available to purchase from Amazon as well as Blurb.com. This will be the third edition of the book, and I expect the paperback edition from Amazon to also be a little cheaper. This book will have to same content as the eBook version of The Little Book of Cats.

I have set up a group on Facebook called Five Cat Books. This group is for anyone interested in Books, Poetry and anything in general to do with the written word. If you already a friend of mine on Facebook please feel free to join you will be most welcome, if you are not already a Facebook friend of mine let me know and I can add you.

I have been trying to decide what is my most favourite food, I have come to the conclusion that everything is my most favorite food. So on that note I must go and meow for some more food, I will see you next week, I will be announcing the blogs which have been awarded the Purrime Ministerette of Plant Purrth Award.
So until then please make sure you do not mistake toes for mice, a toe kebab does not sound very appealing.

Yes before I go do not forget it is International Feral Cats Day tomorrow, please have a look a last years post on this blog; if you need any information. If you can help in any way please do, awareness is the key to helping the feral cat communities.


Amazon.co.uk


               Paperback Version          Kindle Version £1.54
             









Thursday, 3 October 2013

Patchy's Back

Hello dear readers, yes I am back, finally after a rather extended break, not entirely of my choosing may I add. As you probably know or may not know my human mum decided to take a sabbatical from helping me with my blog post; to go and finish writing her fiction book. Which is finally now on sale, more about that later.

Whilst I have been absent from my blog there has been many things happening in the anipal community, an unfortunately a few of my anipal friends have gone OTRB. The devastating news that one of my very dear pals Mr Tibbs, stalwart of the #wlf had passed OTRB due to the dreaded C word was shocking and very sad. I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincerest condolences to his human and feline family. He will be missed indeed, and I am very honoured to be his friend.  His work will continue though, even from the other side. Angel Tibbsy will still be campaigning for anipals and trying to find homes for unwanted kitties.
 
Mr Tibbs



Now I must also offer some apologies to Colonel Pilster @pilstercat, he kindly bestowed upon me two very nice awards. I had intended on writing a post about them, but never got around to doing them before mum took her break. So anyway without any further ado I must say thank you to the wonderful Colonel Pilster for my awards. You can read Colonel Pilster’s excellent blog here – Pillster.co.uk

Colonel Pillster




My first award is : The Inspiring Blog Award

 What a lovely picture of dove, you can also see the award if you click on the pictures on the right hand side of my blog. In order to accept this award I only need to mention who gave it to me and give a link to their blog (see above).



Purrime Ministerette of Plant Purrth Award


This award come with seven rules that have to be complied with to formally accept it.

  1. Bow for your Purrime Ministerettes and confirm on your blog you have done so.
  2. Show a picture of you watching Purrime Ministerette movies. Pictures or it didn’t happen.
  3. Tell Planet Purrth that it needs a change and explain what kind of change you have in mind.
  4. Ask your Purrime Ministerettes what you never dared to ask before.
  5. Bow again for your Purrime Ministerettes and confirm on your blog you have done so.
  6. Forward the Purrime Ministerette of Planet Purrth Award to at least 3 other blogging anipals.
  7. Do not change the rules without explicit written Purrime Ministerette purrmission.

1.*Bows head*
2. I am afraid my humans still haven’t managed to get a picture of me watching Purrime Ministerette movies….. Yet!!!! I don’t stay still long enough for them to catch me with their camera.
3.Planet Purrth you need a change… what kind of change, err how about a change of currency???? “how many purrths are there to a £?”
4. Does my bum look big in your clothes?
5. *Bows head again*
6. I am awarding the Purrime Miniserettes of Planet Purreth Award to…….. watch this space (next week’s blog)
7. Don’t change the rules!!! I dare not.

Now this isn’t the only award I have been luckily been given. My very good pal Nerissa aka Nissy, as it doesn’t sound as girly. He has get again generously given me yet another fabby award, this award is in celebration of his 200th blog post!!!! Yes that is correct 200th, talk about a prolific writer. Nissy I am in total awe of your blogging magnificence.

This award is; The Opposites Attract Award.


 I need to thank Nissy for giving me this award, and leave a link to his blog: Nerrisa’s Life
Secondly I need to post the award on the blog; OK done.
Thirdly I need to pass it on to another blog/s, OK as this need to be passed on from a lady cat to a man cat and vice versa. I award The Opposites Attract Award to:

Felix and Jasper  : Felix and Jasper Blogalot
      Colonel Pillster : Pillster.co.uk


Now I will have to mention Mum’s fiction book (or I will not hear the last of it)
Her book Lilibet’s Secret Diary is part one of a humorous fictional diary, written by the 10 year old Princess Elizabeth (Queen Elizabeth II) It is available from Amazon in Kindle and in paperback. Please see details the below.

Amazon.com
                                            

              Paperback Version       Kindle Version $2.99



Amazon.co.uk


               Paperback Version          Kindle Version £1.54
             



You must also take a look at the book trailer video, we think it’s funny (for all the wrong reasons)






Well I must leave you until next week, my stomach is calling, yet again, I must now go and track down the human and give them my “pathetic face” once again. It always works believe me.











Friday, 6 September 2013

Hello Again



Hello dear blog readers, I hope you do not think I have abandoned you. I am happy to announce that mum (the typist) is back from her UK trip and will now be reading (and willing I hope) to help me to continue with the Five Cat Chronicles. 

We cats have been left here in Cyprus with dad; an may I say he has done a perfectly adequate good in looking after us, but he is has not been able to help us keep our blog updated. (Shame on mum) just hope she is feeling guilty enough now, we cats have to shame our humans into doing a number of things for us, it is just not good enough. Well anyway rant over and back to business, I can therefore declare with confidence that this blog is well and truly back in business and I will be writing a brand new post soon, watch this space.

Purrs from Patchy 

Friday, 17 May 2013

Bling, Bling

Hello readers, I can not believe that we are halfway through May already.  Again I must apologise for the lack of posts recently.  There has been a lot going on in our lives of late, and there could well be a big move on the way; I do not know when that will happen but I have heard the humans talking about it.  They think we cat don't understand what they are saying ha, ha more fool them.

It was my 3rd Birthday on Monday but it wasn't quite the same without my brother Scratchy. It was also Scratchy's second anniversary on Tuesday, so it was a bittersweet couple of days for me and my human family.  They set up a candle group on Gratefulness.org if you would like to light a candle for Scratchy (Scrat is the group name) it would be it very much appreciated. : http://www.gratefulness.org/candles/candles.cfm?l=eng&gi=Scrat
Scratchy
We have had some very mixed Spring weather so far these past few weeks, a heatwave followed by a week of rain and thunderstorms.  Believe it or not we cats here all love going out in the rain, we love to dip our paws in the rainwater; so much for cats not like to get wet.  Sooty is the worst one of us all, he loves going out and getting wet and then coming in an shaking himself and letting the water spray everywhere.  The humans are not too please though.
video

I would also like to wish my pal Nerissa a speedy recovery, he had an accident the other week and torn a ligament in one of his legs.  He underwent surgery and the ligament has been replaced with an artificial one, so  he is now a bionic cat MOL. 

Nerissa


Here's a bunch of roses for you Nissy, get well soon.



Now I suppose you are wondering why I have called this blog post Bling, Bling? You're not!!! Oh well I am going to tell you anyway!   I have received 3 awards recently, the Liebster Award, bestowed upon me by my friend Nerissa from Nerissa's Life and from two from my Twitter friend Colonel Pillster @PillsterCat, the Inspiring Blog Award and a new award called; Purrime Ministerette of Planet Purth Award (Try saying that with a mouth full of mouse kebab) So I am very happy, I love receiving awards; or bling, as we in the cat community call it. 

In order for me to accept these illustrious awards I have to meet certain conditions, so this week I shall attempt to meet the condition of the Liebster Award and next week I shall talk about the awards from Colonel Pillster.  

Thank you once again to Nerissa from Nerissa's Life for bestowing me with this award., please do go and take a look at his multi award winning blog.: http://www.nerissaslife.com it is very entertaining and an excellent read.



So here you have the Liebster Award, and very nice it is too.  So in order to accept this award here are the things I must do:

  • Answer eleven questions posed by the blogger who nominated me.
  • Post eleven random facts about myself.
  • Nominate eleven blogs that have fewer than two hundred followers.
  • Pose eleven question for my nominees.
OK so lets get to work:




These are the eleven question posed by Nerissa:
  1. What is your favourite flower?  Now this is a hard one because I am not really sure if I like flowers that much, although I do like sniffing them. How about the flowers on a catnip plant!
  2. What is the most recent book you read?  I think it was my book; The Little Book of Cats.
  3. What is your favourite genre?  I had to think about this one; if it's music I quite like 80's stuff and literature; I would say classic novels and humorous book, I love a good belly laugh. 
  4. What is your favourite season? I would have to say Spring.
  5. What is your favourite smell? In one word Food!
  6. Would you rather sit under a tree or climb it? Climb it.
  7. What is your favourite television show?  Harry Hill's TV Burps (Shame they are not making any more)
  8. Do you have siblings, and if so, how many? I had one sister she ran away when we were eight months old and one brother now OTRB. I have 2 adopted sisfurs and one adopted brofur.
  9. What colour is your fur, or hair? I am white with patches of grey. 
Now for the eleven random facts about myself.
  1. I was named Patchy because my humans didn't know if I was male or female; and because of the colour of my fur.
  2. I don't really like catnip that much.
  3. I am a big scaredy cat.
  4. I love hiding in grass.
  5. I was born feral.
  6. I will eat nearly anything and everything.
  7. I don't play with my toy mice, I prefer the real thing.
  8. I love sleeping (don't we all)
  9. I love to annoy the humans by jumping on the kitchen worktops at breakfast and dinner time.
  10. I never found out what happened to my sisfur Dory.
Now for the nominees:

Tabby Cat Club
Pepismartdog
Abby Dawg Blog
Three Aussie Cats
Bengal Cat Domination
Felix and Jasper Blogalot

OK I haven't quite reach eleven nominees yet but I have a few more blogs in mind, so I shall be updating my nominee list as soon as I can.

And now for the eleven questions that my nominees have to answer:


  1. If you could be any person in the world who would you be?
  2. Are you an early bird or a night owl?
  3. If you were a character in a fiction book, who would you be?
  4. Do you eat to live or live to eat?
  5. Do you prefer blonds or brunettes (this also applies to anipals)
  6. If you could travel to any country in the world, where would you chose to go?
  7. What would you do if you won one million dollars?
  8. If you had a time machine, would you travel to the past or the future?
  9. Who is your favourite writer?
  10. What colour are your eyes?
  11. Are you an optimist or a pessimist?



Thursday, 18 April 2013

A Note from Patchy





Hello dear blog readers, this blog post will be a short one, and I do apologise for not posting one last week. You see my resident typist (human mum) has not been too well lately; that is her excuse anyway and has been unable to help me with my blog posts.  I usually sit on the seat beside her a dictate to her my weekly blog post, alas my typing leaves a lot to be desired otherwise I would attempt to do all the posts myself.  But you just can't get reliable staff these days!

So I had not choice but to sit a the computer and hack out; believe me that is the correct description for my typing, a short post for this week.  I will have to wait a little longer to announce my nominations for the Liebster Award, that my lovely friend Nerissa bestowed upon me.

Nerissa
Spring is here there are many lizards and mice to be chased as Sooty demonstrated last week by bringing a mouse into the house, fortunately for the mouse the humans rescued it and put it back outside.  Sooty however was not too pleased.

The humans were not so pleased with the gift we left them outside the back door either.  We thought they would like a dead rat, but again we were sadly wrong again.  It was hastily disposed of on discovery.  There is just no pleasing these humans!!!

Well I shall now stop typing as my paws are aching, the keyboard is still in one piece so I haven't done too badly. *whispers* don't tell my typist she leave me to do all my post myself, can't be having that, I got to give her something to do when she feels better.

Farewell for now dear blog readers and hopefully normal blog services will be resumed as soon as possible.



Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Easter in Cyprus

Hello again, I hope you all had a happy Easter if you celebrated Easter where you live.  As many of you probably already know I live on the Mediterranean Island of Cyprus.  Cyprus has been in the news quite a lot recently; and for all the wrong reasons.

Easter in Cyprus is not celebrated until 5th May (2013) the reasons why will be explained below.  I would like to share with you an article all about Easter and Easter traditions in Cyprus.

Easter in Cyprus

A Traditional Easter

Aphrodite's Beach - Public domain image from Pixabay.com  

Cyprus is an island in the eastern Mediterranean, famous for it association with Aphrodite, the goddess of love. The picture shown is of Petra Tou Romiou; Aphrodite's Beach in Paphos. The mythical birth place of Aphrodite, the godess of beauty and love.


Cyprus is a very popular tourist destination for Europeans, due to its' long hot summers and many tourist attractions.

The Country and its' people have had a very long and checkered history but one thing that has remained constant their Easter Traditions.


Geographical location of Cyprus



Image By CIA factbook [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Orthodox Easter



Greek Orthodox icon - public domain image from Pixabay.com 


Easter can fall on a different date in Cyprus. This is due to the fact that Cyprus's main religion is Greek Orthodox; 78% of the Cyprus population is Greek Orthodox. The Greek Orthodox church uses the Julian calendar, which Julius Ceasar introduced to replace the Roman Calendar. Western churches use the Gregorian calendar which came into use in 1582, this means that Easter in the eastern and western churches usually coincide only every few years.

Greek Orthodox Easter in Cyprus

Kites - public domain picture from pixabay.com
The start of lent begins with the public holiday celebration of Green Monday or Kathera Thethtera in Greek; meaning "Clean Monday."


On Green Monday no meat or animal products are consumed. Green and other vegetables, fruit, and also barbecued squid or octopus are eaten.

This semi vegan feast is usually eaten outdoors or in open fields, and is accompanied by singing and dancing; how much of this is to do with the wine drunk who knows!
On Green Monday no meat or animal products are consumed. Green and other vegetables, fruit, and also barbecued squid or octopus are eaten.

This semi vegan feast is usually eaten outdoors or in open fields, and is accompanied by singing and dancing; how much of this is to do with the wine drunk who knows!


Green Monday - youtube

Easter Bread
A Village Tradition



Although the many supermarkets in Cyprus have somewhat taken over the production and sale of traditional Easter bread and savouries. There are still some who bake them at home.

 In some Cypriot villages you can still see them using the traditional outdoor ovens called a fournos, they are similar to the Italian pizza ovens. The various kinds of Easter bread are Christosoma; this is bread with a cross incorporated into the design,Tsoureki a bread flavoured with orange and a spice called mahlepi, it has a egg dyed red pressed into the dough before baking.

A popular pastry eaten at Easter is called a flaouna it is made using a special hard cheese which is simply called "flaouna cheese". They are flavoured with mint and raisins and spices. The bread and pastries are made on Holy Thursday, the Thursday of Easter week, usually in large quantities to be served to the whole family.

Flaounas

In Cyprus many years ago any female wishing to make a good match in marriage, would have to possess the ability to make a good fire.

This was before the barbecue became predominately the male domain.

Easter Eggs


Easter eggs - public domain picture from Pixabay.com



Many countries have the tradition of colouring or painting eggs for Easter. In Christianity the egg symbolises the resurrection of Christ. In Cyprus a root called rizari or madder root is used to dye the eggs red. The red of the egg is symbolic of the blood of Christ. The eggs are blessed by the priest at the end of the Holy Saturday vigil mass.

Today there are many different coloured dyes and design kits, to decorate eggs.

The Holy Week


Church - Public domain picture from Pixabay.com


In the week leading up to Easter Sunday many people attend the daily evening church services.

The Holy Friday (Good Friday) service has a large attendance.

A tomb of hundreds of flowers called the Epitaphius is arranged around an icon of the crucified Christ. The Byzantine mass sung called the Epitaphius is very moving.


O Gliki Mou Ear (o my sweet spring) is part of the Epitaphius sung during the Good Friday mass. This arrangement is by the famous Greek composer Vangelis.

Before the end of the service the tomb of flowers is taken from the church followed by a procession of the congregation. One circuit of the village is performed or if the church is in a town the procession to taken onto the street, and then the tomb is brought back to the church. Once outside the church the congregation then pass under the lifted tomb, it is considered a blessing to pass under the Epitaphius. It is then taken into the church for the end of the service.


Easter Saturday


Glowing Church Candles by Petr Kratochvil


Holy Saturday Vigil 

On Holy Saturday the churches perform a midnight vigil mass. Many bring candles that are decorated with easter symbols, easter chicks, rabbits, ribbons and flowers, some look like miniature works of art. When the vigil service reaches the "word of the resurrection" the candles are lit one by one.

The flame for the candles is brought from the Church Of The Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem The priest the proclaims "Christos Anesti", meaning Christ is risen. This greeting is also given to one another during the Easter festivities. After the church service traditionally a soup is eaten, usually avgolemoni meaning egg and lemon soup. It is a soup made with real chicken stock and lemon and eggs are added during cooking.

Easter Sunday
Easter Greeting, Chicks in Egg  
The traditional meal for celebrations is Souvla. Souvla can be any meat that is cooked over a rotating charcoal barbecue, the most common meat used at Easter is lamb. The lamb is cut into large pieces and placed onto large "smileis," stainless steel sticks, they are then place over the Cypriot barbecue called a foukou. The souvla is accompanied by salad, roast potatoes, tzaziki and other dips.

(Imgage from Allposters.com)


The Easter bread and flaounas are also  served. The decorated eggs are used for an egg cracking contest. Each takes an egg and knocks the tops of the eggs together, the winner is the one who's egg is unbroken or the least damaged. Chocolate eggs are also given as gifts.

Happy Easter, Kitten and Chicks

For those of you who celebrate, I would like to wish you a very Happy Easter or as they say in Cyprus "Kalo Pascha."

(Image from Allposters.com)

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

How to Make an Easter Chick

Now for something completely different, well OK not completely different I am keeping with the chicken theme from last week's post.  I have decided to go all crafty for this my post this week and show you all how to make this very cute (unedible) Easter Chick.


Easter is here again, Easter is a time of renewal, spring time. 

Why not make this adorable little Easter chick, complete with an Easter bonnet. 

Children will love helping you make one or maybe more.

 


 

You Will Need


1 of each 
12" / 30 cm Yellow Pipe Cleaner
 12 "/ 30 cm Orange Pipe Cleaner
12 " / 30 cm Red Pipe Cleaner

1  1" (2.5cm) Yellow pom pom
1 0.5" (1.27cm) Yellow pom pom

2 small googley eyes

Small triangle of orange felt



Instructions

  1.  Glue the small yellow pom pom to the large pom pom (you could use a low temperature glue gun).

     

    2.  Glue the googley eyes to the small pom pom.


    3.  Glue the orange felt triangle to the chick's head; you could also use a small triangle of foam instead of felt.

       
    4.  Cut the yellow pipe cleaner in half; shape as above to make a tail and wings. Glue in place.



     5.  Cut the orange pipe cleaner into 3 pieces (4"/10cm) shape as above to make feet, glue in place.





Your Easter Chick is ready for his/her Easter Bonnet.



   

  
 6. Cut the red pipe cleaner into 3 peices (4"/10cm) cut each piece again  into half and shape one half into a doughnut shape.



7.  Twist the other half around itself (into a spiral shape) insert into the doughnut shape, glue into place.




8. Glue the bonnet into place and glue the small silk flower onto the bonnet.

The chick can be made with bigger size pom poms, you can use different coloured pipe cleaners for the Easter Bonnet.


So there you have it the chick would make a perfect decoration for your Easter celebration table.  Please also make sure you do not give the chick to a small child, they may decide to eat the small parts, not a good idea.




Day-old chicks