December 11, 2023

Girne Municipality, the Beylerbeyi Authority and the Green Peace Movement are cooperating together to organise the festival which is being held 30th April to 1st May

Girne Mayor, Nidai Güngördü, said that they were delighted to organize the 17th of these festivals. By increasing the number of mulberry trees and protecting them, silkworm  breeding and the cocoon industry would be kept alive and would flourish. Being an important part of the Cypriot culture it would thus be conserved for future generations.

Because of the Covid 19 pandemic the Festival had been kept alive only in social media. However this year it was taking place at Beylerbeyi Village with a full programme of concerts and workshops. There were stands selling silk cocoon handicrafts and live presentations about the handicrafts and the life of the mulberry tree, which was also be available on social media. The intention was to increase the awareness of this old cottage industry, indigenous to Cyprus, to the tourists and the world.

As the silk and cocoon industry depended on the silkworm and mulberry trees, studies were undertaken on preserving and boosting the number of mulberry trees. More saplings would be planted in Beylerbeyi and Girne during the festival.

Güngördü thanked everyone who had contributed to organising the festival and invited all citizens to visit it.

Niyazi Engin, leader of the Beylerbeyi Authority, said the different stages from raising the silkworms to the production of handicrafts were to be demonstrated to visitors on their set up stands. This year the festival was being held in front of the ancient Monastery for the first time. This he believed, would boost attendances to the festival with visitors who would only come to the village just because of its touristic attraction. Visitors from abroad would then witness Cypriot culture in a more authentic manner. He also emphasised the importance of preserving such festivals for transferring Turkish Cypriot culture to the next generations and thanked everyone for their contributions and invited all citizens to attend.

General Secretary of the Green Peace Movement, Doğan Sahir, said societies could only survive by living in harmony with nature, by preserving their culture, traditions and values ​​and by their industry. It was to contribute to these goals that the Movement had initiated the Cyprus Silk Cocoon Festival.

Beginning with the cooperation of the villagers the festival had gone from strength to strength with the involvement of Girne Municipality in the process. He thanked everyone who helped in bringing the festival to life.

The official opening ceremony of the festival, on April 30 will be at 15.00, with the unveiling of the stands. At 17:00 there will be a presentation, available on social media also, on “The Sustainability of Local Handicrafts and the Role of Silk Cocoon Handcrafts”. Folk dance performances and concerts by Melek Erdil – İbrahim Çetiner and Serdar Kavaz will follow.

On Sunday 1st May, there will be more folk dance performances, workshops, and cocoon handicrafts on show. A presentation on “People Who Serve in the Local Cyprus Handicraft Industry and its Culture”, will also be available on social media. At the venue, there will be another presentation on “Life History of the Mulberry Tree”. Afterwards, in the final concert of the festival Yağmur Özerem and Serhan Candaş will take the stage.

Source (Turkish): Girne Municipality

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