Home Page / Customs / Easter
Print this page

Similarly to Christmas, housewives begin cleaning their houses days before Easter. On Holy Thursday, they paint the eggs which Christians chink after the Resurrection of Christ. On Holy Friday, they prepare rusks and bread, as well as the famous traditional savoury dish called “flaouna”. In particular: 

Saturday of Lazarus: On this day small groups of mainly primary school children would pass by all the houses of Kritou Terra and chant “Lazarus”. Then, housewives would offer them fresh eggs to paint and money as a gift. 

Palm Sunday: On this day, housewives would leave branches of olive trees at the church so that these would be blessed. After the Pentecost, they used to take the branches home to use them when hallowing in their house. It is believed that by hallowing a house, a family is freed by evil and jealousy. It is worth mentioning that this custom is preserved nowadays as well.    

On Holy Thursday, the chancel icons in the church are covered with black cloth as a token of mourning.

At the same night, a wooden dummy of the Crucifix is placed on a table in the church, whereas wooden dummies of Apostle John and Virgin Mary are placed on His right and left. At that night, all the residents of the village come to church, worship the Holy Cross and listen to the twelve gospels about the Passions, the Crucifixion and the death of Christ. 

On Holy Friday, the girls of the village adorn the Sepulchral. Three girls dressed in black representing the Myrrh-bearers besprinkle Christ with myrrh, aromas and flowers, whereas at the same time, young women and men chant the dirge. At the same night takes place the circumambulation of the Sepulchral in the central streets of Kritou Terra.

In the morning of the Holy Saturday, during the mass and while the priest chants “Christ has Risen”, the loyal hit the seats of the church and at the same time the black cloth which covers the icons as of Holy Thursday, is removed.    

On Holy Saturday night, at around 11 o’ clock, the church bells start ringing joyfully calling the villagers to attend the greatest mass of Christianity. Then, the entire village gathers in the foreyard of the church, next to the fire burning Judas. At midnight, the priest of the village chants “Come and receive the light from the day light” and at the same time he exits the church along with the chorals for the litany. The loyal follow him.

Immediately after the priest chants “Come and receive the light”, the loyal light their candles with the Holy Light of the Resurrection. Then, the priest will read the “Good Speech” and all together will chant “Christ has Risen”.  

After the end of the Resurrection Mass, all the loyal return to their homes carefully holding their candle with the Holy Light, which they make sure, is kept lighted for 40 days.

Once the villagers have gathered in their homes, they chink red eggs while exchanging wishes saying “CHRIST HAS RISEN” and “CHRIST HAS TRULY RISEN”. Moreover, they drink frumenty or egg-lemon soup and eat eggs and the traditional Easter savoury dish “flaouna”. 

On the Sunday of Easter, they grill their traditional lamb on coals called “souvla” and they enjoy themselves all together. On Sunday afternoon, the entire village gathers at the school yard to participate in Easter games organized by the Community Council, which also continue on the Monday and Tuesday of Easter.   

On Sunday evening, celebrations which included music and traditional dances would be organized at two or three coffee shops, whereas all the residents, as well as visitors from other communities participated to show their skills in dancing and in a contest in which the contestants had to improvise some lines with rhyme so that the best one would win. These rhymes are called “tsiattista”. These events would continue for the entire week, until the following Sunday.     

Designed & Developed by NETinfo Plc