Cyprus, Nicosia

Christmas and New Year traditions in Cyprus

Updated: 2 months ago

Greek Cypriots are a nation of traditions. Perhaps because all small nations preserve their culture and identity through customs that have been shaped over centuries.

Especially revered and celebrated in winter here are Christmas on December 25th and Epiphany on January 6th. Cypriots also celebrate New Year, but the main part of the customs is still connected to religious celebrations.

So, the main things:

Fortune-telling and rituals.

Yes, in Cyprus it is also customary to tell fortunes on Christmas Eve and during the Christmas season. For girls, it is very popular to learn about their future in terms of romantic relationships using an olive branch. They throw the olive twig into the fireplace with the question: - "Will (name) love me this year?" If the branch jumps on the coals, the answer is "yes."

Ritual with olive on Christmas. Draw a cross in the air with an olive tree branch and burn it in the fireplace. It is believed that this simple act will cleanse a person from negativity for the whole year.

Traditions for children.

"Plumizun" on January 6th, on the day of Epiphany. Children are sent to their grandparents with some creative task - it can be reading poems, singing beautiful songs, or sometimes children prepare something creative in advance - drawing, crafting an interesting item. In response, grandparents traditionally must give their grandchildren a nice monetary gift.

"Kalanta" - this is the custom of Epiphany, when a priest performs a festive liturgy and then goes around the houses sprinkling them with holy water, wishing the hosts a bright holiday and a good year. By the way, it is customary to treat the church minister and give him gifts.

Also, in Cyprus, there is their local Santa Claus, and he is called Agios Vasilis in honor of Saint Basil the Great.

And a very beloved tradition by many during Christmas and New Year is sales. The winter holidays are the best time for shopping in Cyprus, as most items can be bought at a discount of 50-70%.

Do you need a consultation?