By Margaret Sheard….
Sunday 8th February was the traditional Donkey Day festival in Bűyűkkonuk which is held on the nearest Sunday to St Valentine’s Day each year.
We arrived at about 11.30am to find many stalls in the market area, and also the Delcraft courtyard, which were decked with village bread, local produce, olive oil, jams and marmalades and other crafts as well as local people preparing food for the visitors. There were also farm animals, poultry and birds as well as the traditional donkeys ready and waiting to take the children for a ride.
There was a little hitch when a huge ram decided he did not like his pen and proceeded to demolish it so it was all hands to the task of re-building the pen and securing the ram so he could not repeat his mad moment.
There was a lovely festival atmosphere and as time went on more and more visitors arrived to enjoy the day, buy some home-made produce, have a snack and a drink and generally wander around this lovely eco village.
We spotted a large group of teenagers who we found out were to do some break-dancing later and when they started to perform a huge crowd of people surrounded the area to enjoy the dancing. We later found out that this was Studio 21 from Lefkoşa and we spoke to their leader, Dervish G Zeybek, who has spent many years working with young people to give them a feeling of community and an interest they can enjoy together. They were to do another 2 performances for the visitors later in the day. See below for a slideshow of their performance.
We had a walk around the village during the day and while I sat and rested my legs near the church, Chris went off to explore and take photographs and he came back very excited at what he had discovered which was a lovely little park where there was a memorial to Kemal Tunç, whose voice was the first announcement made from Bayrak Radio, his mother’s birthplace was Bűyűkkonuk, and as this is such an interesting story it will be the subject of a separate article.
Unfortunately, the weather was a bit windy and a few black clouds came over but the rain held off while we were there and the sun appeared from time to time. We had a really nice day and it was good to catch up with Lois and Ismail Cemal of Delcraft and also their friend Angela with her daughter Yasmin, a lovely little girl who remembered us from our previous visit. Angela had made some lovely Valentine cup cakes which I could not resist.
There were many people with their children looking at the animals and looking at the many stalls and we found everyone so friendly and welcoming. The stallholders all smiling and inviting us to try a sample of their produce and what a lovely sight to see all of the home grown vegetables, including huge white cauliflowers and home-made bread, jams, marmalades, and other good wholesome foodstuffs.
When we were ready to leave we treated ourselves to a Doner Kebab for Chris and a cheese and herb pancake for me, which was absolutely delicious so we sat and ate in the car before moving on to do a little exploring of local villages and then back to Girne after a tiring but very enjoyable day at Bűyűkkonuk. There will be many other visits in the future for their many eco festivals.
For more pictures of the festival and the Studio 21 dancers see the two slideshows below:
Bűyűkkonuk Village Festival – Donkey Day slideshow
Studio 21 Dance Group slideshow
To get in the dancing mood, although not break dancing, please click the link below