Easter is the largest celebration of the Greek Christian Orthodox Church.
Preparations for Easter here in Cyprus begin from Thursday of the Holy Week when the housewives start preparing "flaounes"
and dying in red colour hardboiled eggs.
On the Good Friday or Great Friday, as it is called by the Greeks, morning "Epitapios", the icon which depicts Christ after he has been removed from the cross, lying supine, as his body is being prepared for burial, gets decorated with flowers and in the evening is carried through the streets.
On Saturday, the church services start at 11 pm and few minutes before midnight, the lights in the church are switched off and the choir chants the story of three women (myrrh bearers) who arrived at Christ’s tomb only to find it empty. The lights are switched on again at midnight precisely and the priest calls the congregation to “take from his candle the light which never dies.” The flame is passed from person to person until everyone is holding a lit candle.
After the ‘Christos Anesti’ chants (Christ is Risen) most of the congregation leave to celebrate with family and friends by watching the firework displays which are held outside most churches, and to enjoy a meal of the traditional Cypriot soup "trachana" or egg and lemon soup. A part of the congregation stays till the end of the service (around 2:30 in the morning) and receives Holy Communion.
The eggs which were hardboiled and dyed on Thursday are now used
in a game "tsougkrisma" where they are hit against each others' egg and 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 from where he arose after death.
Easter Sunday is when the celebrations really begin. Feasts of souvla, salads, cakes, sweets, and alcoholic beverages are also on the menu!
From Sunday Lunchtime until Tuesday Night in village squares and churchyards, games and traditional Cypriot music is the order of the day.
For this reason, we, here at Pan. Chrysostomou Auto Doors Ltd., will be closed for Easter Celebrations from 1 o' clock on Thursday 13/04/2017 until Tuesday 18/04/2017. Wishing you all a Happy Easter, have fun and take care!!