EASTER IN CYPRUS BY G. KOUZALIS LLC LAWYERS
Easter celebrations in Cyprus starts with the Holy Week. Firstly on Monday, there is a very simple mass in Church during the night. On Tuesday we have the Kassiani Troparion which are poems and Hymns from a very talented Byzantine lady called Kassiani. Then on Wednesday, we do have the night mass where we celebrate the symbolic washing of Jesus’ feet by … αμαρτωλη woman. This is very symbolic as it shows the humbleness of the lady who wants forgiveness and the preparation of Judas to betray Jesus.
Then on Thursday, we have the mass of the last supper mass where the All icons in churches are dressed with black fabric preparing the Orthodox for the crucifixion Jesus Christ, which takes place on a very spiritual mass on the might of Thursday.
On Thursday of the Holy week, Cypriot housewives bake the traditional flaounes which are made with cheese stuffed into the dough. In some areas, they prepare sweet flaounes and in some others salty with raisins giving a sweet and sour taste. Usually, the Flaounes are made with three different cheese and the best cheese comes from the Pafos area. Eggs are coloured in red dye to symbolize the Resurrection and the start of a new life.
Early in the morning of Good Friday, all churches decorate with flowers the Epitaphios which represents the tomb of Jesus. At the end of the evening, people follow along the streets Epitaphios, listening to the psalms of the priests and chanters. This is a very special day. Usually, Christians on this day eat only bitter lent with vinegar and nothing else. In the morning and all day the girls prepare epitafios and in the night is the parade of Epitafios. A lovely ceremony that prepares for Saturday biggest celebration in Greek Orthodox church. On Friday people don’t work and at home, nobody does any food preparation. It’s a very symbolic day full of sorrow,
Saturday morning, this is the first Resurrection. Very early in the morning, we do have Jesus resurrected and maria and Magdalene are the first to know. There is a very special Mass in the church and the place to be is Paralimni at St. George. During the day preparations for the dinner to be served after the Resurrection starts. Traditional dishes such as Avgolemono soup and or as lamb soup and Mageiritsa are prepared. In the night, people go to church with their candles to light them with the “Holy Light”. Around Midnight the hymn ‘Christos Anesti’ which means Christ is Risen is chanted by all people. After church, they enjoy the festive table, eat the delicious flaounas and crack the red eggs.
On Easter Sunday, all properties in Cyprus smell delicious meat (usually pork or lamb) cooked in charcoal. Traditional games, dancing and singing take place in the yards of churches. All Cypriots enjoy the happy atmosphere, celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The most typical dish is a full lamb on the barbeque which takes more than 5 hours to be ready. Traditional food is also Kokoretsi again on the barbeque.