Wednesday, 11 April 2012

The Gallery - Easter

Cyprus celebrates Greek Orthodox Easter which this year falls this coming weekend, one week after Western or Christian Easter.  Some years, like the previous two by coincidence it falls on the same weekend but I was intrigued to find out why its not often on the same day.

By the wonder of the interweb I discovered that

The formula for Easter—"The first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox"—is identical for both Western and Orthodox Easters, but the churches base the dates on different calendars: Western churches use the Gregorian calendar, the standard calendar for much of the world, and Orthodox churches use the older,Julian calendar.


Easter is the biggest religious festival in Cyprus and is celebrated more than Christmas, for most people it lasts from Good Friday until the following Tuesday.  Decorations come out a few weeks before and can be found by churches, street corners and on many roundabouts!


On Easter Saturday people head to the church for the midnight service, the churches usually have a big bonfire (to burn Judas - the apostle who betrayed Jesus) outside and last year we took a walk down to our local church to see.  As people leave the church carrying they greet each other with 'Christos Anesti' (Christ has risen) to which the reply is 'Alithos Anesti' (Indeed he has risen). Candles and bonfires are lit all over the island and firecrackers are let off to signal the end of the 50 days of fasting (Lent) 


Easter Sunday is a day of rejoicing, feasting and cracking of the red dyed eggs.  (Red to symbolise the blood of Christ).

In many villages it is a custom on Easter Sunday and Monday for families to have lunch together in the church yard or village square with each family bringing food and wine.  I believe our village has celebrations on the Monday but unfortunately my Greek is not up to translating the leaflet that came to the door!

For our Easter Sunday we are inviting the neighbours and cooking a BBQ lunch, adhering to the tradition that they bring food and wine of course!



Information found from Justaboutcyprus.com Wikipedia  and Cyprus Tourism Organisation so blame them if I've got anything wrong!

Linking up to The Gallery, this week's prompt is funnily enough.... Easter.

8 comments:

  1. Those are lovely traditions. Must be a really nice thing to be Sharing food like that. And those are massive chickens!! Happy Easter!

    ReplyDelete
  2. The celebrations there look and sound amazing!!
    I wish we celebrated it more over here.
    The traditions sound fab and it certainly sounds like a great place to bring up children. X

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh my husband is from Greece so I know a bit about how Greek celebrate. The pictures are wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  4. oh wow its always intresting to see how other parts of the world celebrate, looks like Easter over there is a lovely time :) x

    ReplyDelete
  5. I really enjoyed reading your post, I find it amazing how all over the world the same holiday/celebration is celebrated differently.
    Love the fact they bring their own food too!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great post, the idea of a bbq and wine would tempt me to join in!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow what an interesting read! It is also fascinating to hear how other cultures celebrate holidays that's e do so differently xx

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great to read about the Cyprus traditions!

    ReplyDelete

You might also like..

Related Posts with Thumbnails