‘Kalo Pascha’ Happy Easter from Cyprus!
25th April 2019
No we are not just a week late! The date of the Greek Orthodox Easter is the first Sunday after the full moon that occurs at the spring equinox. So this year, Easter Sunday in Cyprus is on 28th April. Which means if you time your holiday just right, you can have two Easters! 🙂
Eggs are traditionally hard-boiled and dyed on the Thursday before Easter. Most are dyed red, traditionally with a special root called rizari, that is sold in bundles at the market, others are dyed yellow using the marguerites that cover the waysides and fields during April. The eggs are then used in a game where they are hit against each other – the kids will love this – whoever is left with an un-cracked egg is the winner! The breaking of the eggs is symbolic of Christ breaking free from the tomb, although I suspect the egg-cellent (sorry – couldn’t resist) mess created is more likely to be the kids’ over-riding memory!
On Easter Sunday, or Pascha, Cypriots traditionally have a family feast with roast lamb as the main dish. Other common food items include: a lamb soup called magiritsa, red-dyed boiled eggs, Cyprus’ special Easter flaounes (pastry with cheese, egg and mint filling formed in triangular or square shapes), Greece’s special Easter bread tsoureki, salads, chips made from Cyprus’ famous potatoes, paskies (mini meat pies), tiropites (mini cheese pies), chocolate eggs and koulouria which are sweet, well-spiced biscuits.
Rosie, who looks after our Cyprus guests so well, is not a big fan of the flaounes (she may actually have used the words “bit like a brick”!) but the Greek Avgolemono Chicken Soup gets her vote for deliciousness :-).
You can read more details about Cypriot Easter Greek Orthodox customs here.
Near our villas, there will be various celebrations including this one at Cyherbia:
“On Easter Monday and Tuesday (April 29th & 30th 2019) from 10:00 until 17:00,once again hundreds of Easter eggs will have found themselves hidden in the Maze at Cyherbia in Avgorou. Can you help to find them?
Also, Easter I Spy game in the Herb Garden, find the nests in the Woodland and have you seen the hidden bunnies?
Other games include Egg & Spoon Race, Sack Race and Tug of War. The games are ongoing all day, last admission 4 pm.
Entrance including all games and a cup of herbal (ice) tea is 5 euros for adults, 3 euros for children 5-12. Ages 4 and under free.
(Cyherbia will be closed on Easter Sunday).”
Next year, Easter in the UK is 12th April and in Cyprus is 19th April – so you can get planning your Easter-egg-eating-fortnight for 2020!