Best time to go to Cyprus

Easter Sunday (Orthodox) 2024

Cypriot Easter is all about colorful eggs, candle processions, and huge bonfires

Dates: May 5, 2024

Easter Sunday (Orthodox)
Easter Sunday (Orthodox)
Easter Sunday (Orthodox)
Easter Sunday (Orthodox)

Easter in Cyprus is not a one, two, or even a five day event. Preparations for the most important holidays of the year start long in advance. Weeks before the holiday, people start cooking, cleaning, and decorating the houses. So, let's dive into the details of Easter (and especially Easter Sunday) in Cyprus to see why it's such a busy, joyful, and emotional time for everyone!

Traditional Easter foods in Cyprus

During Holy Week Cypriot, families prepare a number of traditional dishes. Most women do their baking on Thursday, making famous "flaounes" ( shortcrust with a cheese, egg and mint filling. This kind of pastry comes in triangular or square shapes. Another treat is "koulouria" - butter cookies baked with milk, spices, and a bit of sugar. Don't forget to try "tyropittes" - cheese pies rolled in sesame seeds. Eggs are dyed red in a natural way: with a special root called "rizari". Yellow eggs are made with yellow marguerites, which cover the fields in April. Also, it is a must to prepare meat for the Sunday barbeque, which is especially desirable after forty days of Lent.

Easter decorations

In Cyprus, house decorations are an integral part of the holiday, and they have very high symbolism. While Easter decorations can vary greatly from house to house, there are definitely the most common ones. A good example is Lambades – tall white candles, embellished with flower and ribbons. They're a symbol of Christ's light. The flowers themselves are also a decorative element of Easter: fresh greenery is widely used to decorate buildings (homes, churches, etc). During the holiday, you can also witness plenty of traditional icons and crosses – literally everywhere. Finally, Easter in Cyprus isn't celebrated without decorative garlands and thematic wreaths.

Easter Friday

On Good Friday, many churches organize Epitafios processions. In Nicosia, they take place at the cathedral of Agios Ioannis (Archidiocese), and at Panayia Faneromeni Church. The process goes like this: everybody brings flowers to the church to adorn the Holy Sepulcure (the Epitafios). After the evening service, the procession begins. People follow the "Epitafios" the entire time as young men carry it outside the church, through the neighbourhood, and back to the church.

Easter Saturday

On Saturday, the Midnight service attracts many Cypriots in churches, where the resurrection of Christ is celebrated. The service ends with a candle procession, fireworks, and huge bonfires. When returning home, people eat Easter soup called avgolemoni and the baked goods that were prepared beforehand. Holy liturgy, bonfires, and Resurrection celebrations can be witnessed near the church of Ayia Fyla in Limassol. Local kids hold drums, and Orthodox priests bless people with laurel leaves. In Nicosia, you can visit an ancient Ayios Eleftherios church on Onosagorou Street.

Easter Sunday

Unlike other days, Easter Sunday is all about eating. On this day, it's common to visit relatives and friends, enjoy egg-cracking games, and eat lots of cheesy and meaty food. People also love savouring delicious wine and other alcohol drinks. This feast is usually very loud and cheerful, so if you get a chance to be with locals on Easter Sunday – be ready for some noise!

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin