Easter in Cyprus

Easter is an essential holiday in Cyprus, and it is celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm. This festive period, which usually falls between late March and early April, is an occasion for family gatherings, religious observances, and traditional feasting.

The Easter celebrations in Cyprus are a unique blend of religious and cultural practices. The Cypriot Orthodox Church plays a vital role in the festivities, and the entire community comes together to commemorate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

On Holy Thursday “Flaounes” are baked. Flaounes are made of short crust with cheese, egg, raisings and mint filling. All the family will gather from early in the morning and will help bake them. Also in the same day they dye eggs (hard boiled) to symbolise Christ’s Blood from the Cross. The crucifixion of Christ is on that day so people go to church in the evening to “mourn”. The Church’s icons are covered with black veils to show their grief.

“Epitafios” is on Holy Friday. Everyone takes flowers to the church to decorate the Epitafios or Holy Sepulchre. The procession starts after the evening service. Young men carry the “Epitafios” outside the Church around the neighbourhood and back to the church, people follow the “Epitafios” the whole time.

On Holy Saturday, the Cypriot Orthodox Church holds a midnight mass, which is the most important event of the Easter celebrations. At midnight, the church bells ring out, and people light candles to symbolize the resurrection of Christ. The service is followed by a traditional meal of “magiritsa,” a soup made from lamb offal, They also crack dyed, eggs and say “Christos Anesti” which means “Christ has risen from the dead.”

Easter Sunday is a day for family gatherings and feasting, and many Cypriots will roast a whole lamb on a spit. This is a time for joy and celebration, with music and dancing.

Easter Monday is all about traditional games such as egg and spoon race, sack race, donkey race, Ditzimin(weight lifting game),Zizyros(Cicada),the camel jump and much more. These Easter traditions usually take place in villages and small communities.

Overall, Easter in Cyprus is a time of great joy, celebration, and reflection. It is a unique blend of religious and cultural practises, and it is an occasion that brings the entire community together. Whether you are a visitor or a resident, experiencing Easter in Cyprus is an unforgettable experience that should not be missed.

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