Easter Sunday (Orthodox) Featured in
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. It includes cooking, cleaning, and decorating the houses. Easter is a very busy, joyful, and emotional time for everyone in Cyprus.
During Holy Week Cypriot, families prepare a number of traditional dishes. Most women do their baking on Thursday, making famous "flaounes", made of 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 little 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 that 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 can vary greatly from house to house, but the most popular are dangling white candles, ribbons, and tiny flowers. Dyed eggs serve as a decoration as well.
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.
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,
On Easter Sunday it's common to visit relatives and friends, enjoy egg-cracking games, and eat lots of cheesy and meaty food.