Easter in Cyprus and Russia

Easter in Cyprus and Russia

Curious similarities and differences

On the eve of the great feast of the Resurrection of the Lord, let's talk a little about the differences between Easter in Cyprus and Russia.

Of course, I am not an expert, but an ordinary person who was fortunate enough to touch the cultures of two wonderful countries and discover some curious differences and similarities.
So, let's start:

1. In Cyprus, as in Russia, there is a tradition of coloring eggs for Easter and, remarkably, both Cypriots and Russians arrange joking battles on painted eggs.

2. Since we are talking about food, let’s continue with Easter baking: in Cyprus these are traditional pies Flaunes (Flauna), and in Russia – an Easter cake called "Kulich" (if I'm not mistaken, in the southern regions they say “PasKa”).
By the way, in Russia, there is a tradition to consecrate Easter cakes and eggs in the church, there is no such tradition in Cyprus.

3. In Cyprus, Easter is the time to blow firecrackers, launch fireworks and, most importantly, burn huge bonfires with a scarecrow Judas on top! Such bonfires are prepared in advance. Usually teenagers with the beginning of the Lent start collecting all wooden things to certain places (usually near the church), trying to make it so big that on Easter night their bonfire blazed higher than of the neighboring district or village. In Russia, I did not come across such a tradition (however, there are historical data that such a custom existed earlier, during the time of the Russian Empire). Regarding firecrackers and fireworks, the Russians use them more to celebrate the New Year.

4. Now let's talk a little about church traditions. In Russia, the procession takes place on Easter night, and in Cyprus, the procession takes place on Holy Friday. Another difference: everyone who comes to the Easter service in Cyprus waits for the sharing of the Holy Fire that is delivered to each church of the island. The Holy Fire spreads from person to person, from candle to candle and everyone seeks to bring it to the home. I have never encountered such a tradition in Russia.

Photo: Bill Warry

5. And the last thing I would like to mention in my article is that for breaking fast (Lent) in Cyprus it is customary to eat soup ‘Avgolemono’ (and, of course, we remember painted eggs and Flaunes), and in Russia it is usually a piece of Kulich (Easter cake) and / or a Russian festive dish made from quark called “Paskha” (see photo below) and a painted egg.

Kaló Páscha! Happy Easter!

Photos: Internet (without copyright)

Easter in Cyprus and Russia

Read also: Comparison of the Cypriot and Russian Christmas and New Year traditions