On Sunday morning most people who have not taken yet the Holy Communion during the Holy Week, will take it that day and afterwards return home, where red eggs are cracked, flaounes eaten and the fast broken.
The children go around cracking and winning coloured eggs, for only if your egg does not crack then you get to keep it. At lunchtime picnics and family gatherings are held; lambs are roasted on the spit and wine flows freely.
In the villages, Easter is an all-village affair apart from being a big holiday. On such days after Mass, the priest stands at the church door with the Cross and everyone leaving kisses the Cross, then shakes-and takes – the hand of the person in front, thus forming a large circle in the church yard which symbolizes the renewal of friendship with one another. After this, all friends and relations, but especially people from other towns or villages, are invited to the villagers’ homes where they sit down together, eating and drinking until late in the afternoon.
In many villages it is also the custom on Easter Sunday and Monday for everyone to have lunch in the church yard and each family brings its food and wine and everybody eats at long tables made out of stands and long wooden planks. After lunch there are various games, dances and jokes. All old quarrels are forgotten. The young people celebrate by hanging up “souses” – swings. For this purpose young men and girls hang ropes from trees and while the girls swing, they all sing gay songs or love songs, or teasing songs called “Tchatismata” -rhymes – These rhymes are made up at every festive occasion and there are even professionals who sing them. The characteristic of the “tchatismata” is that someone get up and starts by opening the subject in reciting praises for the host, something to tease a friend, or a love song for a girl. If he can, the one who has been made the subject of the rhyme gets up and replies by reciting his views on whatever has just been said. More usually, however, there are two people singing the “tchatismata” by making up the rhyme as they go along, one making up the first few lines, the other the next few and so on.
We hope you enjoyed reading about our Cyprus Easter traditions and would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a very happy Easter.