Cyprus News | Enjoy Two Easters in Cyprus

Cyprus News | Enjoy Two Easters in CyprusCyprus News | Enjoy Two Easters in Cyprus

For those of us who do see Easter as a very special time, our Easter is Good Friday 29th March, Easter Sunday 31st March 2013.

As we are all aware the Catholic Easter and the Orthodox Easter do sometimes fall on the same date but this year there is a big gap of several weeks. Of course if you are chocaholic, you could celebrate both.

“Greek Orthodox Easter in Cyprus

CYPRUS EASTER Easter Sunday – 5 May 2013

Easter in Cyprus (Pascha pronounced Pas – ha), is the most important of the religious Cyprus festivals in Cyprus and Greece.

It’s a lovely time to visit Cyprus as the weather is glorious and yet not too hot to explore and discover the beautiful island of Aphrodite Greek Goddess of Love and Beauty.

Greek and Cyprus Easter are the same because the Julian calendar is used to calculate when the Greek Orthodox Easter will be. Next year Easter Sunday falls on the 2 April 2014 which will be the same day as the Catholic and Protestant Easter.

Cyprus Traditions at Easter in Cyprus

The period of fasting before Easter is called ‘Apokria’ and starts during the month of February at Carnival-time which is the traditional period of fasting before Pascha (Easter).

The first week of ‘Apokria’ is called Meat Week (Kreatini) and this is the last week you can eat meat.

The second week is cheese week (Tyrini) and also the last week to eat cheese and other dairy products before Easter.

This is the time of Lent and on Green Monday (Clean Monday in Greece) the fasting officially begins and lasts for 40 days. This day is a public holiday in Greece and Cyprus and people traditionally go on picnics and fly kites.

The UK celebrates with hot cross buns and during Easter in Cyprus it’s customary to cook or buy Easter breads such as flaounes and tsoureki.

Eggs are dyed red, blue yellow and green and used to decorate the cakes and displayed in bowls and baskets throughout Easter.

The red eggs represent the blood of Christ when he was crucified.

It’s customary to tap the eggs against each other and the one with the egg that doesn’t break is the winner.

You can find flaounes and tsoureki in the local bakers and supermarkets or you can make them at home. Incredibly delicious for breakfast with coffee.

GOOD FRIDAY (Megali Paraskevi)

This is the day of the burial of Christ. The Perifora Epitafios, is a candlelit procession of a funeral bier (coffin) which is covered with the Epitafio (a richly embroidered cloth). The streets are overflowing with people who join the procession which winds its way through the streets and onto the church.

EASTER SUNDAY

The Midnight mass on Easter Saturday/Sunday morning is the most important day of all and a time for much rejoicing and celebrating the anastasis (resurrection) of Christ.

Everyone rejoices saying Christos Anesti (Christ has risen) to each other. To this you reply, Alithos Anesti (truly he is risen). There are fireworks and then a candle-lit procession through the streets. Afterwards everyone goes home to enjoy a special meal.

The 40 days of fasting during Easter in Cyprus is broken by eating magiritsa – Easter soup of lamb and avgolemoni with the dyed-red eggs and Easter flaounes and tsoureki.

Easter Sunday celebrates the end of the 40 days of fasting which began on Green Monday. A great feast is had by all and most families and friends cook roast lamb in ovens or the lamb is barbecued on spits.”

Whichever Easter you celebrate may it be peaceful. Remember the first Easter at the end of March is also the weekend we put our clocks forward. Spring forward, Fall back.

Happy Easter to all of you.

O B Joyful

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments are closed.