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Some Cypriot Easter Customs
Some Cypriot Easter Customs
Some Cypriot Easter Customs
Some Cypriot Easter Customs
 
Some Cypriot Easter Customs
18/04/2019
The most common customs for celebrating Easter in Cyprus are associated with the Greek Cypriot Orthodox Church, with which 95% of the population is affiliated. Religious celebrations span the entire weekend. On Good Friday, a representation of Christ’s bier known as the epitafios is decorated with flowers before forming the centre of the sombre Procession of the Epitafios from the square to the chapel. On Holy Saturday, celebrants gather in the chapel around the epitafios for a Midnight Mass; at midnight, the lights are cut and then restored to symbolise the resurrection. At the end of the service, each congregant lights a candle to represent eternal life. Religious symbolism is also conveyed through culinary traditions. On Good Friday, many observers abstain from eating meat in recognition of Christ’s suffering on the cross, so a menu of seafood and vegetarian dishes is offered. After the Midnight Mass, the traditional Midnight Supper features flaounes (pastries stuffed with local cheeses, semolina, sultanas, and mint) and a lemony soup; diners crack the shells of hardboiled eggs (dyed red to represent the blood of Christ) as a symbol of Christ’s departure from the tomb. On Easter Sunday, lamb is roasted on the spit and enjoyed with other meat dishes that had been avoided during Lent. The celebration continues in the villages on Monday and Tuesday with singing, food, and traditional games like sack races. Annabelle offers a full programme of activities and observances during the Orthodox Easter weekend.