Easter Sunday in Cyprus

Easter in Cyprus is a day of celebration, and many people spend it with their families and friends, making souvla and giving gifts of chocolate eggs to children, and enjoying a Sunday out in nature.

Traditions abound on Easter Sunday, with souvla made with goat meat, and cracking red eggs.  The eggs are usually cracked as part of a game, where one person takes their egg and hits the egg of an older person.  The loser is the person whose egg cracks, and the winner moves on to others to see how their egg measures up.

There are church services held in the morning and evening, known as the Agapi or love service, where the gospel is read to mark Jesus’ ascension.  The gospel is often read in various languages.

Many places are closed on Easter, but there are a few restaurants that remain open and serve a traditional Easter meal, so it is best to call and ask.

Most Cypriots leave the city and head to a village to spend time with family, and enjoy the warmer weather.

The day is followed by two days of celebrations, known as Bright Monday and Tuesday, which are also holidays.

In some areas of Cyprus, processions are held that Monday and Tuesday.  The village of Omodos in the Limassol district, has a tradition of taking out the piece of the holy cross left there by St Helen, and marching it through the town.  Gunfire follows the procession.

Traditionally, people greet each other with ‘Christos Anesti’ on Easter, which means ‘Christ is risen’.  People will answer with ‘Alithos Anesti’ meaning ‘Truly he has risen’.

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