Cyprus festivals 2

Today we’re continuing our look at a couple of the more important Cyprus festivals and we did mention that these can be both religious and not-so religious, so today we’ll start with a religious one.

The Orthodox Easter (March-April)

While this isn’t exactly a festival in the general sense of the word, this is the biggest Orthodox festival of the year, and well worth witnessing.

It starts on the first Sunday following a full moon of the spring equinox, and during the week leading up to it, many traditionalists will refuse to eat meat or fast completely. During this week you might find a much wider array of vegetarian dishes available at the local restaurants.

Following the morning lithurgy on Holy Thursday, women paint eggs red and do their Easter baking and then in the evening the icons in the church are draped in black.

Following that, in the evening of Good Friday the sepulcher is decorated with flowers and a procession of flower imaged of Christ are carried through the streets of many cities and town, people carrying candles to mark Christ’s death.

Then on Easter Saturday the black drapes come off the icons and then congregations all across the island rap their seats in order to express joy and chase the demon of Hades away. At midnight they gather and burn effigies of Judas on huge bonfires.

The following days are Easter Sunday and Monday which are deemed to be days which one spends within his or her family, it is also customary to roast lamb outdoors on a spit or in big clay ovens, the celebrations can continue all throughout the day and oftentimes the next day as well.

This is one festival that is quite solemn for most of its duration, however considering the amount of time that it lasts, you can easily see yourself employing some Cyprus car rental services and visiting different spots around the island to see how each place celebrates, or simply as part of your normal trip. It will give you quite a unique view into how Cypriots do their worshiping.