Cyprus, Nicosia

Lazarus Saturday in Cyprus

Lazarus Saturday is a traditional Orthodox religious holiday dedicated to a popular religious narrative, observed on the Saturday before Palm Sunday.

Церковь св Лазаря Кипр
Church of Saint Lazarus in Larnaca

Feast of Saint Lazarus

This day commemorates the resurrection of Lazarus by Jesus Christ. Interestingly, the saint resurrected by Jesus has direct connections to Cyprus. For 18 years, he served as the Bishop of Larnaca, known as Kition at that time. The saint passed away for the second time on Cyprus, and his sarcophagus can be found in Larnaca.

In Orthodox tradition, Lazarus Saturday is considered a precursor to Easter, symbolizing victory over death and the beginning of new life. Additionally, Lazarus Saturday precedes the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem in the holiday calendar.

Celebrating Saint Lazarus Day in Cyprus

As Lazarus of Bethany lived, preached, and died in Cyprus, Lazarus Saturday is celebrated uniquely on the island. Churches are filled with believers who bring candles and flowers in memory of Lazarus' resurrection. Processions with icons and crosses take place in villages and towns. Some areas also host traditional folk festivities, markets, and festivals where one can taste local dishes and learn about Cypriot culture and traditions.

Larnaca particularly celebrates Lazarus Saturday vividly, as Saint Lazarus is the heavenly patron saint of the city. The main events of the holiday take place around the Church of St. Lazarus with the sarcophagus, where the saint is believed to have been buried.

Гробница св Лазаря Кипр
Tomb of Saint Lazarus in Cyprus

Frequently Asked Questions about Holidays in Cyprus

Which day is Lazarus Saturday in 2024?

In 2024, Lazarus Saturday, both in Cyprus and other countries following this Orthodox tradition, will be observed on Saturday, April 27.

What other religious holidays are celebrated in Cyprus?

Lazarus Saturday is not the only widely celebrated religious holiday in Cyprus. Moreover, some religious holidays are recognized as public holidays, such as Epiphany, Assumption of the Virgin Mary, Christmas Eve and Christmas, Green Monday, Good Friday, and Kataklysmos.

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