As a Christian Orthodox country, Easter in Cyprus is celebrated appropriately. In the spring season, Cyprus is a stunning destination to visit on its own. However, there is always something magical happening in Easter. Take a seat as we go through the best activities and customs in Larnaca and Cyprus in general during Easter.
To begin with, Easter, as known as, “Pascha”, is dedicated to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and his resurrection for the sake of humanity! Christians are fasting for 40 days until Holy Sunday, where is the climax of Easter. During the Holy Week, a representation of the sacrifice is taking place in churches, with thousands of people attending.
Each Easter custom has a symbolic meaning you probably didn’t know about. Dying eggs red is the most common custom during Easter, and the red color symbolizes the blood and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Ever heard of “Flaounes?”. Flaounes, technically, are cheese pies, made only during the Easter time. Other than a delicious breakfast, flaounes are used to make the transition from fasting to eating meet smoother. Over than that, you really have to try them! And of course, Easter’s Sunday! After the announcement of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, families gather together for a rich lunch! The main dish of the day is the lamp. You guessed it, the lamp is a symbol as well! It symbolizes the purity and innocence of Jesus.
It’s not all about food though. On Holy Friday, is the pick of the mourning. A representation of Jesus Epitaph is taking place. In the evening, Christians follow the Epitaph throughout their street Church, in order to express their sadness about messiah’s death. At the end of the sacrament, all Larnaca's Epitaphs meet at the Acropolis square, creating the pick of the sacrament. On Holy Saturday night, a dangerous yet unique custom takes place. On the yards of churches, you will come across a big fire, don’t panic though as it is a part of a tradition. The burning of Judah! Specifically, neighborhoods have a race between them for the biggest fire, as the preparation for the burning of Judah, starts weeks before the Holy Saturday. After the announcement of the resurrection, people bring home the Holy Light, with candles specially made for Easter. It is thought that bringing home the Holy Light, will result in peace, health, and prosperity. A custom, that unfortunately is fading through the years, is the traditional Easter Games. You can still find children enjoying those games mostly at villages. It’s a tradition that held families together on Easter’s Sunday.
If you find yourself in Larnaca in these days, you will be surprised. As a public holiday, at Easter, Larnaca’s downtown is fully crowded! We recommend taking a walk alongside the Saint Lazarus Church, less than five minutes from our hotel. There, you will find several venues, offering coffee and traditional food. During The Holy Week, Larnaca’s nightlife is slightly affected. On Holy Friday, bars are open, yet with no music! And on Holy Saturday, most of them are closed. However, on Easter’s Sunday, at night, we get a compensation. Bars and clubs open their doors, for a party!
Visiting Cyprus on Easter is a different experience than any other time of the year. An experience we undoubtedly recommend. Within a limited radius around our hotel, you can take a part in the mystery of Easter, as well as, get into the public holiday mood, and party!