Cyprus is a country that looks like one continuous holiday.
History, geography and Mediterranean climate have generously rewarded the island with natural beauties and attractions. The sun and sea added brightness and juiciness to the fireworks of colors, and mouth-watering Cypriot cuisine became a powerful finishing chord in this symphony of optimism.
Perhaps that is why Cypriots are better than others at being able to enjoy life and give positive emotions to others. Celebrating the holidays, noisy, bright and fun, is one of the favorite activities of local residents.
If you are new to the island, then the best way to get to know Cyprus better is to study the traditions of the Cypriots, to understand how the locals celebrate important events in their lives and national holidays. Each celebration on the island is something special, unique and very colorful.
All holidays in Cyprus can be roughly divided into public, religious, and folk.
Public holidays are only very important events that are days off. The most significant are Christmas, Easter, Independence Day and Ochi Day. During these days there are solemn events, processions and folk festivals.
If a public holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, then no additional days off are assigned. At the same time, if a public holiday falls on a weekday, then life on the island changes its pace. All banks, shops, educational institutions and various services are closed. The exception is small convenience stores in tourist areas in Cyprus. In addition, holidays that fall on Friday or Monday in 2022 form a three-day weekend.
List of holidays in Cyprus in 2022:
- January 1 (Saturday) - New Year or St. Basil's Day
- January 6 (Thursday) - Epiphany
- March 7 (Monday, floating date) - Clear or Green Monday
- March 25 (Friday) - Greek Independence Day and Annunciation
- April 1 (Friday) - Cypriot National Day
- April 22nd (Friday, floating date) - Good Friday (Friday before Easter)
- April 24 (Sunday, floating date) - Easter
- April 25-26 (Monday and Tuesday) - Easter weekend
- May 1 (Sunday) - Labor Day
- June 13 (Monday, floating date) - Pentecost, Holy Trinity Day or Cataclysm
- August 15 (Monday) - Dormition of the Virgin
- October 1 (Saturday) - Cyprus Independence Day
- October 28 (Friday) - Ochi Day
- December 25 (Sunday) - Christmas
- December 26 (Monday) - Christmas day off
Let's take a closer look at what holidays and weekends await the residents of Cyprus in 2022.
January 1 (Saturday) - New Year or St. Basil's Day
Cypriots start celebrating this event the day before with the preparation of a traditional pie called vasilopita. A coin is put into it. The head of the family cuts this cake in front of all family members. One piece must be cut for Jesus Christ, one for the Virgin Mary and one for absent family members. The rest is divided between those present. The one who finds a coin in his piece will be the luckiest in the coming year.
January 6 (Thursday) - Epiphany
Other names for this holiday are Epiphany, Fota. Epiphany is a holiday in honor of the appearance of three wise men to the baby Jesus. Also it is a holiday celebrating the baptism of Jesus in the waters of the Jordan River. On this day, a procession to the sea takes place in the island's cities. White doves are launched into the sky, and a cross is thrown into the water, which the daredevils get from the bottom. January 6 is an official holiday in Cyprus.
March 7 (Monday, floating date) - Clear or Green Monday
The first day of Lent in Cyprus is called Green Monday. According to popular beliefs, this is the first day of spring. Cypriots spend this day with family and friends: they arrange picnics and feasts, fly kites into the sky and play outdoor games. This holiday very well reflects the national Cypriot love of good food. It would seem that on the first day of Great Lent, what plentiful food can be? But Cypriots still eat a lot, varied and tasty.
March 25 (Friday) - Greek Independence Day and Annunciation
Cypriots celebrate Greece's Independence Day. The inhabitants of the island honor their close connection with Greek culture and history. Usually on this day, parades are held in all major cities of Cyprus. And the believers gather in the church for a solemn service in honor of the Annunciation.
April 1 (Friday) - Cypriot National Day
On this day, the inhabitants of the island celebrate the beginning of the national liberation struggle of the EOKA against the British colonialists, which ended with the Zurich-London agreements on February 19, 1959. Cyprus was declared an independent state. An interesting point is that the EOKA activists set their goal not at all the independence of the island, but reunification with mainland Greece. Since this is a patriotic holiday, the day before, local schools organize special lessons where children are told about the struggle for independence. Services are held in the temples, where they commemorate those who died in the struggle.
April 22nd (Friday, floating date) - Good Friday (Friday before Easter)
Friday of Holy Week, which is dedicated to the remembrance of the condemnation to death, the sufferings of the cross and the death of Jesus Christ, as well as the removal from the cross of his body and burial. A solemn service is held on Good Friday morning. The girls bring flowers to the church and decorate the shroud with them. Towards evening, the shroud is taken out of the church, a procession takes place along the nearby streets, then they return 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 and paint eggs. On the eve of the holiday on Saturday, believers go to church services. Like many Christian nations, Cypriots have a tradition of "egg fighting", when participants beat painted eggs. Whoever has the not broken egg is the winner, there will be good luck for a whole year. The broken egg symbolizes the opening 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, as a rule, organize demonstrations, the city authorities organize concerts with the participation of stars and bands, and conduct entertainment programs. Banks, government agencies, as well as most of the shops (shopping centers, hypermarkets, supermarkets) on the island are closed. It should be added that May 1 in Cyprus is a double holiday, because it was on this day in 2004 that the country became part of the European Union and became an official EU member.
June 13 (Monday, floating date) - Pentecost, Holy Trinity Day or Cataclysm
The holiday is celebrated on the 50th day after Easter, hence the name. Pentecost always falls on Monday, so Cypriots have a 3 day weekend. The Cypriots honor the Holy Trinity with special respect. Believers go early in the morning to the festive service in the temples. On this day, special prayers are said there. On Trinity falls the Festival of Water, or, as the Cypriots call it, Kataklysmos. This event is associated with the memory of the Flood and the salvation of Noah.
August 15 (Monday) - Dormition of the Virgin
On this day, Cyprus celebrates the events of the end of the worldly life of the Virgin Mary and her ascension to Heaven. Festive services are held in the monasteries of the island. For Cypriots, this period is the height of the holidays, many prefer to spend their holidays in August, and on the holiday itself they take part in the celebrations. On the night of August 15, a religious procession is arranged, the shroud of the Most Holy Theotokos is brought out.
October 1 (Saturday) - Cyprus Independence Day
A holiday celebrated annually by the whole country. Cypriot flags are flown in all cities. A military parade is being held in Nicosia, the presence of the president and the country's military leadership is mandatory. They arrange a memorial service for all Cypriots who died in the struggle for independence. Then wreaths are brought to the graves of 13 EOKA activists who died in the partisan struggle, and to the grave of Archbishop Marakios III.
October 28 (Friday) - Ochi Day
The holiday is dedicated to the participation of all Greeks in the Second World War. Memorial Day for the resistance of the Greeks in 1940 to the ultimatum presented by Italy to the Greek dictator Ioannis Metaxas. The Greek word "όχι" means "no": with this nationwide protest, Greece refused to surrender. The memory of the rebuff given to the fascist troops is honored both in Greece and in Cyprus.
December 25 (Sunday) - Christmas
The Cypriot Christmas traditions are a mixture of Orthodox and English traditions. There is also Santa Claus (Agios Vasilios), who is used to dressing up for one of the family members, usually the most weighty. 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, a generous table is set in the houses of Cypriots, on which there must certainly be meat dishes, Christmas cake, sweets.
December 26 (Monday) - Christmas day off
Immediately after Christmas, there is Boxing Day in Cyprus. In the old days, among the representatives of the aristocracy, it was customary on December 26 to present gifts to vassals and servants, who received a day off on that day, for on Christmas they served at a holiday with the owners.
Thus, there are 15 public holidays in 2022 in Cyprus: 9 of ecclesiastical origin, 5 of secular, and one holiday is of a mixed nature (this is March 25, the day the Greek Revolution of 1821 began and the Annunciation).
It should be mentioned that in addition to the main ones, Cypriots celebrate about 40 more holidays a year. These include various festivals and the world famous Cypriot Carnival.
Holidays and festivals in Cyprus are unique. Join the parties! This is a great opportunity to plunge into the real life of the Cypriots, enjoy the atmosphere of their friendliness and hospitality.
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