Holidays in Cyprus

Holidays in Cyprus

Cypriots are very fond of holidays, of which there are quite a large number on the island.

In addition to the many state and religious holidays, every town and even villages have their own festivals, carnivals and celebrations on certain days of the year. The people of Cyprus cherish their traditions – most holidays on the island have been celebrated for centuries.

The holiday calendar in Cyprus has many weekends. During the public holidays life on the island changes its pace. Predominantly all banks, services and stores are closed on public holidays. The exception is small stores in tourist areas. Cypriots relax, invite guests and have fun, forgetting about everyday problems.

Holidays in Cyprus: photo 1

Public holidays and public holidays in Cyprus:

New Year / New Years Day

The celebrations begin on New Year’s Eve with the making of the traditional Vassilopitta Cake, in which a coin is baked. The head of the family cuts this pie in the presence of all family members. Whoever finds a coin in their piece will be the luckiest in the coming year.

Epiphany Day

One of the most important religious feasts of the Greek Orthodox Church. On this day Christ was baptized in the Jordan River, symbolizing the spiritual rebirth of man. Another name for the holiday is the Day of the Three Magi, which takes place with the illumination of the water in the temples. In the coastal towns, at the end of Mass the festive procession goes to the sea, where the priest dips a cross into the water and the participants dive after it, which symbolizes the ritual of purification.

Green Monday

A floating date The holiday is celebrated 50 days before Easter and serves as the beginning of Lent. Cypriots spend this day with family and friends: they organize picnics and feasts, fly kites in the sky and play outdoor games

Greek Independence Day (the national liberation revolution of 1821 against the Turks)

The Cypriots cherish their close ties with Greek culture and history, and therefore the holiday is celebrated in Cyprus on an equal footing with Greece. Parades of students, scouts and other organizations are held on this day. Various competitions and events are held all over Cyprus in celebration of the holiday.

Cyprus National Day

April 1 Day of the beginning of the national liberation struggle against the British colonizers in 1955.

Good Friday (Greek Orthodox Church)

Friday of Holy Week, which commemorates the condemnation to death, suffering on the cross and death of Jesus Christ, as well as the removal of His body from the cross and His burial.

Holy Saturday

The Saturday before Easter

Holy Pascha / Easter

The most important Orthodox holiday in Cyprus, ending Lent. Traditionally, for Easter, they bake a cheese cake flauna, paint eggs. On the eve of the holiday, the faithful go to the churches for worship.

Easter Monday (Greek Orthodox Church)

The Monday after Easter

Easter Tuesday (Greek Orthodox Church)

International Labor Day

May 1 As in other countries, on this day there are demonstrations of workers, and after the official part – folk festivals, fun, concerts.

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Cataclysmos (Pentecost, Feast of Water) / Sataclysmos

floating date The holiday is associated with the remembrance of the Flood and the salvation of Noah. Cataclysmos takes place in all the towns of Cyprus with great pomp. One after another there are folklore performances, games, songs and dances. In the coastal towns there is a large fair, nautical sports competitions (traditional regatta), celebratory swims with prizes for the winners.

In the evening, towns are immersed in the bright lights of fireworks. People disperse to exhibitions and concerts. Assumption Day

August 15 On this day in the monasteries of the island are festive services. For Cypriots it’s the peak season for vacations, many people prefer to spend their vacations in August and take part in the celebrations. On the night of August 15, a religious procession is held and the shroud of the Virgin Mary is carried out.

Cyprus Independence Day

On 1 October, the whole country celebrates the Independence Day with a military parade in front of the Presidential Palace in Nicosia, the capital of the Republic of Cyprus. There are mass celebrations and concert programs until deep into the night.

“Ohi Day”.

October 28 Day commemorates the resistance of Greeks and Cypriots in 1940 to the ultimatum delivered by Italy to the Greek dictator Ioannis Metaxas. The Greek word “όχι” means “no”: with this nationwide protest, Greece refused to capitulate. The memory of the repudiation of the fascist troops is honored in Greece and Cyprus.

Christmas / Christmas Day

December 25 In Cyprus, Christmas is celebrated before the New Year. The traditional Cypriot traditions also show that a lot of preparations are made for this day. The holiday atmosphere is absorbed in towns and villages, holiday shopping is done, gifts for relatives and friends are bought. In Cypriot homes, a lavish table is laid out, with meat dishes, Christmas cake and sweets.

Christmas Eve (Boxing Day, Day of the Kykeskoe Icon of the Mother of God)

December 26 The following 12 days from Christmas to Epiphany, which are the holy days consecrated by the Savior’s coming into the world

Holidays in Cyprus: photo 2

It should be noted that the holidays that fall on a weekend are not transferred to the next weekday.

In addition to the main ones, Cypriots celebrate about 40 other holidays a year. The most popular among them are:

  • Aphrodite Festival in Paphos, an annual classical music festival dedicated to Aphrodite, goddess of love
  • The Anfestiria, an annual festival of flowers that pays tribute to the island’s extraordinary bounty of nature. It celebrates the arrival of spring with extravaganzas and processions…
  • Limassol Wine Festival, a festival dedicated to the god of wine-making, Dionysus. During the festival many wine producers offer their wines to the public free of charge.
  • Limassol Carnival – takes place at the beginning of spring and lasts ten days. It is a bright and colorful event that attracts visitors from all over the world
  • The Larnaca Music Festival is an interesting event which takes place in the Larnaca amphitheater. And also in the theater, located in the medieval fort. This festival is a great opportunity to get acquainted with the music and dance of Cyprus. In addition, during the festival performances of ancient Greek and modern plays take place.
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Holidays in Cyprus: photo 3

Some holidays that are celebrated in Cyprus are also celebrated in other countries of the world. However, there are some that are unique to the Mediterranean island. The holidays celebrated by any nation can tell a lot about its culture and character. Therefore, for those who want to get to know Cyprus, it is worth to visit it during the national holidays!

Holidays and Holidays in Cyprus in 2022

Holidays and Holidays in Cyprus in 2022

Its history, geography and Mediterranean climate have generously rewarded it with natural beauties and attractions. The sun and sea have added brightness and juiciness to the firework of colors, and the mouthwatering Cypriot cuisine is a powerful closing chord in this symphony of optimism.

Perhaps that’s why Cypriots are better than anyone else at enjoying life and giving positivity to those around them. Celebrating the holidays in a noisy, bright and cheerful way is one of the favorite activities of the locals.

If you’re new to the island, the best way to get to know Cyprus is to get to know Cypriot traditions and see how the locals celebrate important events and holidays. Each celebration on the island is something special, unique and very colorful.

All holidays in Cyprus can be divided into public, religious, national and folk.

At the same time, there are only very important events that are celebrated at the state level. The most important are Christmas, Easter, Independence Day and OHI Day. Cypriots celebrate them with a special scope, there are always ceremonies, processions and folk festivities.

In addition, in Cyprus, there is an amazing phenomenon, when the holiday status have significant dates from the history of another country. In particular, Greece. This is due to the close ties between Greek Cypriots and residents of mainland Greece. The day of the beginning of the Greek Revolution in 1821 was an important event for Cyprus as well.

It is noteworthy that in Cyprus it is not the practice to postpone holidays.

If a holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, then there is no extra day off. At the same time, if a public holiday falls on a weekday, life on the island changes its pace. All banks, stores, educational institutions and various services are closed. The exception is the small stores in the tourist areas, which are called “Periptero” in Cyprus. In addition, holidays that fall on Friday or Monday in 2022 form a three-day weekend.

Another important point, Cypriots are Orthodox Christians. However, the dates of Orthodox holidays in Cyprus are determined by the New Julian calendar (New Style). Therefore, some of them do not coincide with the dates of similar holidays, for example, in Russia. For example, Cypriots celebrate Christmas, Epiphany, and the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the same dates as Catholic countries. In Cyprus, Easter and Pentecost are celebrated on the same dates as in Russia.

List of holidays in Cyprus in 2022:

  1. January 1 (Saturday) – New Year’s Day or St. Basil’s Day
  2. January 6 (Thursday) – Epiphany
  3. 7 March (Monday, floating date) – Clean or Green Monday
  4. 25 March (Friday) – Greek Independence Day and Annunciation
  5. 1 April (Friday) – Day of the Struggle for Liberation of Cyprus
  6. 22 April (Friday, floating date) – Good Friday (Friday before Easter)
  7. 24th of April (Sunday, floating date): Easter
  8. April 25-26 (Monday and Tuesday) – Easter weekend
  9. May 1 (Sunday) – Labor Day
  10. June 13 (Monday, floating date) – Pentecost, Pentecost or Kataklysmos
  11. August 15 (Monday) – Assumption of the Virgin Mary
  12. October 1 (Saturday) – Independence Day of Cyprus
  13. 28 October (Friday) – Ohi Day
  14. December 25 (Sunday) – Christmas
  15. December 26 (Monday) – Christmas Day
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Let’s take a closer look at what holidays and weekends await the residents of Cyprus in 2022.

January 1st (Saturday) – New Year’s Eve or St. Basil’s Day

Cypriots begin celebrating this event the day before with the preparation of a traditional cake called Vasilopitta. A coin is baked into it. The head of the family cuts this pie in the presence of all family members. One slice is necessarily cut for Jesus Christ, one for the Virgin Mary, and one for absent family members. The rest is divided among those present. Whoever finds a coin in their slice will be the luckiest in the coming year.

Epiphany on January 6 (Thursday)

Other names for this holiday are Epiphany, Fota, Epiphany. Epiphany is a holiday commemorating the appearance of three wise men to the baby Jesus. Epiphany is a holiday in honor of the baptism of Jesus in the waters of the Jordan River. In the Orthodox tradition, the feasts of Epiphany and Epiphany are celebrated on the same day. On this day, in the Cypriot cities there is a procession to the sea. White doves are launched into the sky, and a cross is thrown into the water, which the brave ones retrieve from the bottom. January 6 – the official holiday in Cyprus.

March 7 (Monday, floating date) – Clean or Green Monday

The first day of Lent in Cyprus is called Green Monday. According to popular belief it is the first day of spring, hence the name. Cypriots spend this day with family and friends: picnics, feasts, kite flying in the sky and playing outdoor games. This holiday reflects very well the national Cypriot love of good food. It would seem that on the first day of Lent, how can there be abundant food? But Cypriots still eat a lot, varied and delicious.

March 25 (Friday) – Greek Independence Day and the Annunciation

This is not a mistake or a typo. Cypriots do celebrate Greek Independence Day. The islanders honor their close connection to Greek culture and history. Usually on this day parades are held in all major cities of Cyprus. And the faithful gather in church for a solemn service in honor of the Annunciation.

April 1 (Friday) – the Day of the beginning of the liberation struggle in Cyprus

On this day the islanders celebrate the beginning of the national liberation struggle of the EOKA against the British colonialists, which ended with the Zurich-London treaty on February 19, 1959. Cyprus was declared an independent state. An interesting point is that the EOKA activists did not aim at the independence of the island at all, but to reunite with mainland Greece. They fought for one thing and achieved quite another. But the Cypriots don’t regret it one bit, they are even more comfortable being independent now. Since this is a patriotic holiday, the day before, local schools hold special classes in which children are told about the struggle for independence. Services are held in churches where those who died in the struggle are remembered.

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April 22 (Friday, floating date) – Good Friday (Friday before Easter)

Friday of Holy Week, which commemorates the condemnation to death, the suffering and death of Jesus Christ on the cross, as well as the removal of his body from the cross and his burial. On Good Friday morning there is a solemn service. Girls bring flowers to the church and decorate the shroud with them. Toward evening, the shroud is carried out of the church, there is a procession through the nearby streets, then back to the church.

April 24 (Sunday, floating date) – Easter

The most important Orthodox holiday in Cyprus, ending Lent. Traditionally, for Easter, they bake cheese buns flaunts and paint eggs. On the eve of the holiday on Saturday, the faithful go to the temples for worship. As with many Christian nations, Cypriots have the tradition of the “egg fight,” where participants beat painted eggs. Whoever has the egg left intact is the winner, there will be good luck all year long. The broken egg symbolizes the discovery of the tomb of Jesus Christ.

April 25-26 (Monday and Tuesday) – Easter weekend

Monday and Tuesday after Easter.

May 1 (Sunday) – Labor Day

On this day, Cypriot trade unions generally hold demonstrations and the city government organizes concerts with stars and bands and entertainment programs. Banks, government institutions and most stores (shopping centers, hypermarkets, supermarkets) on the island are closed. It is worth adding that May 1 is a double holiday in Cyprus, because this day in 2004, the country joined the European Union and became an official member of the EU.

June 13 (Monday, floating date) – Pentecost, the Day of the Holy Trinity or Cataclysmos

The holiday is celebrated on the 50th day after Easter, hence the name. Pentecost always falls on a Monday, accordingly, Cypriots have three consecutive days off. Cypriots honor the Holy Trinity with special respect. The faithful go early in the morning for the festive service in the churches. On this day, special prayers are recited there. The Feast of Water, or as Cypriots call it, Kataklimos, falls on Trinity. This event is associated with the memory of the Flood and the salvation of Noah.

August 15 (Monday) – Assumption of the Virgin

On this day in Cyprus, the events of the end of the secular life of the Virgin Mary and her ascension to Heaven are celebrated. Festive services are held in the monasteries of the island. For Cypriots this period is the height of the vacations, many prefer to spend their vacations in the days of August, and on the holiday itself they take part in the festivities. On the night of August 15, there is a procession of the Cross and the shroud of the Blessed Virgin Mary is carried out.

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October 1 (Saturday) – Independence Day of Cyprus

A holiday celebrated annually by the whole country with great respect and scope. In all the cities hang Cypriot flags. A military parade is held in Nicosia, with the president and military leaders of the country in attendance. They hold a memorial service for all Cypriots who died fighting for independence. Wreaths are then laid at the graves of 13 EOKA activists who died in the guerrilla struggle and at the tomb of Archbishop Marakios III.

Oct. 28 (Friday) – “Ohi Day.”

The holiday commemorates the participation of all Greeks in World War II. The day commemorates the Greeks’ resistance in 1940 to the ultimatum given by Italy to the Greek dictator Ioannis Metaxas. The Greek word “όχι” means “no”: with this nationwide protest, Greece refused to capitulate. The memory of the repudiation of the fascist troops is honored in both Greece and Cyprus.

December 25 (Sunday) – Christmas

Cyprus celebrates Christmas according to the Gregorian calendar (New Style). Cypriot Christmas traditions are a mixture of Orthodox and English traditions. There is also Santa Claus (Agios Vassilios), who it is customary to dress up as one of the family members, usually the heaviest. Children hang socks near the fireplace (if there is no fireplace, near the Christmas tree), which parents fill with sweets at night. As in other countries, in Cypriot homes, a generous table is laid, which must necessarily have meat dishes, Christmas cake, sweets.

December 26 (Monday) – Christmas Day off

Immediately after Christmas in Cyprus comes Box or Box Day. This refers to the boxes in which gifts are placed. In the olden days, it was customary among the aristocracy on December 26 to give presents to the vassals and servants, who received a day off on that day, for on Christmas Day they served at the feast of their masters.

Thus, out of 15 days off and holidays in 2022 there will be 9 ecclesiastical, 5 secular and one mixed holiday (March 25, the day of the beginning of the Greek Revolution in 1821 and the Annunciation).

It should be mentioned that, in addition to the main holidays, the Cypriots celebrate about 40 other holidays a year. These include various festivals and the world-famous Cypriot carnival.

The holidays and festivals in Cyprus are unique. You must visit them. This is a great opportunity to experience real life Cypriot and enjoy their friendly and welcoming atmosphere.

Interested in accommodation in Cyprus? Visit the DOM. The portal has the largest database of real estate in the country – from residential to commercial. Choose and contact professionals who will help you to make the right choice!

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