Christmas is the most celebrated holiday almost all around the world as the season of love, giving and forgiveness. One thing is for sure, Christmas is evident all over Cyprus with decorations and carols playing everywhere. Should the weather allow, one can also enjoy sunbathing in the warm day sun before sipping a glass of commandaria to warm up in the evening when it gets chilly. If you are lucky enough to live in Paphos or if you intent to acquire a property, you can then enjoy Christmas, Cypriot style, close to the sea!
The Christmas days are filled with all sorts of Christmas events, parties and religious functions giving Paphos a really festive feeling. The Season starts on December the 6th which is Saint Nicholas feast and ends on January the 6th with the Epiphany feast! A whole exciting month of enjoying the decorations of Santa Claus or ‘Agios Vasilis’, snowmen, angels and lights not only in the town but also in the surrounding villages. Festivities around town peak with the New Year’s Eve festival at the town square with music and wine flowing freely up until the countdown of the New Year.
Christmas is also all about food. Delicious goodies are served in every home, with the Greek celebration walnut sugar cookies ,‘ kourabiedes’, being the star. ‘Melomakarona’ ,an egg-shaped Greek dessert made mainly from flour, olive oil, honey and nuts is another dessert prepared primarily during the Christmas holiday season. The Christmas cake along with the turkey have also been adopted since the British rule in the 1950s. The traditional souvla made with lamb or pork cooked on the Cypriot BBQ over charcoals, is however ,the most preferred choice for the locals.
‘Vasilopitta’ is the New Years’ cake, cut either on New Year eve or New Year’s day. It is tradition for the cake to be left with a candle on it and a goblet of wine for Santa Claus who will drink the wine, bless the cake and then leave the gifts. Based on this tradition, gifts were usually exchanged on New Year’s day ,whereas they are now exchanged on Christmas day. The cake has a golden coin in it and it is believed that whoever gets the piece with coin, will have good luck all year.
Adding to the religious quality of the celebrations, are the traditional carols, or ‘kalanda’; a tradition still carrying on still the Byzantine times. On Christmas Eve, children go around their neighbourhood from door to door with triangles and flutes singing traditional Christmas carols and they are treated with either money or candies.
Should someone decide to visit Cyprus for Christmas, one thing is for sure, they will not be disappointed! Our Hotels host various festivities for our clients during the Christmas season and should you consider visiting Paphos during this time with the intention of purchasing property, you can have a taste of your future holiday lifestyle!