Approximatively two weeks back when I explored Cyprus, I was lucky to witness the Easter’s preparation, an important family festival for the Christian Orthodox community or “Greek Cypriots” who live in the southern part of the country. The families gather together on Good Friday to bake flaounes (a local pastry), that are then distributed to near and dear ones on Easter.
A Cheese-filled pastry
Greek Cypriots, who represent the island’s largest ethnolinguistic community, are mainly Eastern Orthodox christians. The Orthodox Church is one of the three main Christian groups (the others being Roman Catholic and Protestant). Orthodox means “correct in teaching” indeed Orthodox Christians consider the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant churches to be incorrect in some teachings. They notably believe in a single God, who is both three and one (triune); the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, “one in essence and undivided”.
They celebrated Easter on last sunday, one week after the Catholics.
Traveller’ info about Cyprus
- Weather: The perfect Mediterranean weather (25 degrees C during the day 10-13 at night). Not too hot not too cold! Landscapes are green indeed Cyprus possess a very fertile land where olives, vegetable and even wine is produced.
- Visa & Currency: We visited the southern part of the country that is divided in two (North: Turkish / South : Greeks). The entire island is part of the European Union and you indeed require a Schengen visa to visit the island. The currency is Euro.
- How to get there ? There is no direct flights from India but many connections through Gulf Air Qatar Airways Emirates,and Air India (now flying non-stop to Tel-Aviv). It will take you about 8 hours to reach this small paradise.
- Food: as compared to other parts of Europe, the prices are reasonable, a nice ice cream will only cost you 1 euros ( approx 70 INR), a good size sandwich 2 euros (approx 240 INR). In a good restaurant, you might end up spending 15 euros per head. Don’t miss the seafood and the mezze (the speciality here). For vegetarians, it’s easy to find options, the mediterranean cuisine is made of mezze, breads, salads & cheese. You won’t find many Indian restaurants around, except maybe in the big towns like Limassol and Nicosia.
Safety: The capital Nicosia is the only divided capital of the world but since the division there has not been much troubles and the entire island remains very much safe, Cypriots and tourists can cross easily from North to South without a problem..