The first festival to celebrate plants and herbs such as asparagus, capers, thyme and mint which grow wild in the Tatlısu area was held in the village square and surrounding streets last Sunday.
The Tatlısu Green Culture Festival was organised by the municipality with the objective of preserving local Turkish Cypriot culture so it can be passed on to future generations.
Wild plants and herbs, along with cultivated produce, were a big hit as visitors learned about their culinary and medicinal uses from local people who did a brisk trade from stands.
Apart from its “green” attractions, the festival also featured folk dancing, live concerts poetry recitals and a display of work by artists who had recently taken part in an international arts symposium.
On a similar theme, the seventh Wild Artichoke Festival was held in the village of Yiğitler, near Lefkoşa on Sunday.
In addition to wild artichokes being on sale, there were also handicrafts and local produce.
Değirmenlik Mayor Osman Işilsal delivered a speech in which he said the municipality was planning to organise a “comprehensive festival” in the future that would cover all villages in the district. He said the most important aspect of such festivals was hygiene and quality, reminding those selling food of local training courses that had begun for small and medium sized businesses.
On the same day, the village of Serdarlı, near Gazi Mağusa, was marking its reputation as one of the oldest inhabited locations on Cyprus with a Spring Festival. Songs were sung there was folk dancing and live music, while traditional food, including samisi, lokma, jams and pastries, was offered for sale.
The festival was organised by the municipality, muhtar, Serdarli Health and Culture Association and Telsim. It began with a float procession which was watched by a large crowd of visitors including President Mustafa Akinci and his wife Meral.
Serdarlı Mayor Salih Bayraktar said the festival was the result of local co-operation and that the municipality was also working with the Ministry of Tourism to ensure that the local area would benefit from the country’s tourism potential.