Cyprus Holidays

As in Cyprus as and in neighboring Greece, the inhabitants like to arrange holidays, festivals, carnivals. In addition to the national or religious celebrations there are their own local festivals in the towns and villages of the island, these celebrations is often extensive, colorful, and attracting guests from all over the island and many tourists.

Banks, shops, service firms are closed in public holidays (see. below), however, you can always find an exception in the resort regions.

January 1 - The New Year

This is a celebration with gifts, fun, fortune telling. On the eve of New Year Cypriots prepare a traditional dish - vasilopitta cake, in which lucky man can find a specially baked "coin of happiness."

January 6 - Epiphany (day of St. Epiphanius, or Phota)

Another name of the holiday is the Day of the Three Magi. The water is hallowed in the temples in this day. At the end of Mass the procession goes to the sea where the priest omits the cross into the water, and the participants of the holiday dive for him, symbolizing a purification ritual.

«Green Monday»

It is held 50 days before Easter and means the beginning of Great Lent. The islanders spend the day with family, friends, picnics and feasts.

March 25 - Greek National Day in Cyprus

Cypriots honor their close relationship with the Greek culture and history, and the holiday is celebrated in Cyprus, as in Greece.

April 1 - National holiday of Cyprus

In the history this day is associated with the beginning of the struggle of the Greek Cypriots against the British colonialists.

Good Friday

Procession is organized in all parts of the island on Friday at the Holy Week before Easter.

May 1 - Easter

It is the most important Orthodox holiday in Cyprus completing Great Lent. In 2016, Easter was on the first day of May. Traditionally people in Cyprus bake cake with cheese flauna and paint eggs for Easter. On the eve of the celebrate on Saturday the worshippers go to church to Mass.

May 1 - Labor Day

As in other countries, this day are demonstrations of workers, and after the official part there are festivities, fun, concerts.

Kataklysmos (Trinity) - Water Holiday

It is Orthodox holiday which takes place on the day of Pentecost (50 days after Easter). At holiday days of The Trinity the most important folk festival takes place in Cyprus, which includes many cultural events with folk dancing, folk theatrical performances, songs, games on the beach.

August 15th - Assumption

Holiday worships are in the monasteries of the island. For Cipriots this period is the season of vacations, and many people prefer to spend their vacation in the days of August, and they take part in the celebrations. On the night of August 15, religious procession is held and the Holy Virgin Shroud is taken out.

October 1 - Independence Day of Cyprus

This holiday is celebrated throughout the country on a large scale, a military parade is carried out at the Presidential Palace in the capital of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicosia. Mass celebrations and concerts is continued until the night.

October 28 - The Day of "Ohi" in Cyprus 

It is Memorial Day of resistance of Greek and Cypriots in 1940 to Italian ultimatum of the Greek dictator Ioannis Metaxas. The Greek word «όχι» means "no" and Greece has refused to capitulate using this national protest. The memory of repulse the fascist troops is honored in Greece and in Cyprus.

December 25 - Christmas

In Cyprus, Christmas is celebrated before the New Year. As in other countries, the Cypriots carefully prepare to this day. Towns and villages are immersed in the special atmosphere of a holiday, people make purchases, select gifts to friends and relatives. At the holiday Cypriots enjoy a generous table, which certainly must have meat dishes, Christmas cake, sweets.

 

Regional festivals and celebrations

Protaras

  • Anfestiriya is May flower festival with colorful processions. Residents of the island honor the gifts and opportunities that local nature and climate present them. A tribute of respect to spring is bright flower carnival which is attended by the islanders of all ages!
  • International Arts Festival is held for a few days in late June. There are music, dance, theater performances with the participation of artists from all over the world, every day a new program is provided

Limassol

  • In spring the city "blooms" with carnivals, colorful parades, masquerades; Summer brings Dramatic Art Festival, on which theater companies come from different countries of the world, and the performances are in historic buildings and on the stage of the ancient theater of Kourion, which gives the action a special appeal.
  • By the beginning of autumn harvest festivals and the famous festival in honor of Dionysus, god of wine, representing the best Cypriot aromatic wines come in Limassol. The first days of October are the annual festival "Afamiya" grape, which takes place in a site Koilani, near from Limassol. There are wine tasting, desserts, sweets

Ayia Napa

The most colorful events are:

  • February carnival on the eve of Maslenitsa,
  • Green Monday (first day of Great Lent, falls on February-March), 
  • Easter celebrations
  • May holiday of flowers Anfestiriya 
  • Ayia Napa Festival which is beloved by citizens and residents of other parts of the island (last week of September).

Larnaca

  • Music Festival takes place in July in the municipal amphitheater and theater medieval fort where you can see concerts with Greek and Cypriot dances and songs, listen to classical music, ballet performances and see ancient Greek plays. Actors from around the world come on the feast every year.