Easter in Cyprus (Páscha)
Cyprus Easter ~ 16 April 2017
Easter in Cyprus (Páscha – pronounced PA-ska), is the biggest celebration of the year.
In Greece and Cyprus, the Julian calendar is used and that’s why the Orthodox Easter is often later than in other Christian religions. However, this year, it falls on the same day.
Fasting before Easter in Cyprus is called ‘Apokria’ and starts on Green Monday (Clean Monday in Greece) lasting for 40 days.
- Green Monday is a public holiday and people traditionally go on picnics and fly kites.
- Meat Week ~ The first week of ‘Apokria’ is called Meat Week (Kreatini) and this is the last week you can eat meat.
- Tyrini Week ~ The second week is cheese week (Tyrini) – this is the last week to eat cheese and other dairy products before Easter.
Celebrating Easter in Cyprus
- Holy Thursday – This is the day when flaounes and colored eggs are traditionally cooked.
The red eggs represent victory in life over death and the blood of Christ when he was crucified.
You can find flaounes and tsoureki in the local bakers and supermarkets or you can make them at home with the following recipes.
Holy Friday (Megali Paraskevi)
The Perifora Epitafios is a candlelit procession, a funeral bier (coffin) is covered with the Epitafio, a richly embroidered cloth. The streets are full of people and they all join in the procession to the church.
Easter Saturday in Cyprus
The Resurrection mass is held at midnight and is a time for celebrating the Anastasis (resurrection) of Christ. People light candles and in a candlelit procession, walk through the streets saying, “Christos Anesti ” – Christ has risen, the reply is “Alithos Anesti ” – truly he is risen. After the celebrations and fireworks, everyone goes home to enjoy a special meal.
Breaking the Fast
On Sunday afternoon, families and friends cook roast lamb in ovens or over barbecues. Chocolate easter eggs are also enjoyed.
Galombrama translates to ‘Good Thing’ and as the name suggests, this cake is very good and easy to make.
Great with coffee or tea, any time of the day.
Happy Easter in Cyprus!
Where To Stay?
Booking.com have many lovely hotels and apartments, and a selection of villas. Book online and pay when you get here.