Cyprus Easter customs
Easter customs in Greece and Cyprus are very similar.
Easter in Cyprus is the most important religious holiday. Traditionally on Holy Thursday the house wife would bake flaounes, a savory cheese pie and tyropittes loaves. Eggs are hard boiled and dyed red with a root dye called rizari, or yellow with marguerites.
On Holy Thursday the church icons are covered with balck cloths.
On Good Friday lunch time faki xidati is served, lentil soup with vinegar. In the evening after the evening mass of Epitaphios, there will be a procession round the town, in villages fireworks are lit.
On Holy Saturday, during the morning mass, the cloths are removed from the church icons, the bells ring for the resurrection service. In the evening, around midnight, in the church yard a bon fire is lit, as are candles, the priest greets everyone one with Christos Anesti (Christ Has Risen) and the reply is Alithos Anesti (Indeed He Has Risen).
On Easter Sunday, after the morning mass, the red eggs are cracked and the flaounes are eaten, breaking the 40 days fast. At lunch time picnics are held, souvla or ovelias is served (roast lamb on spit fire).