Games played in Cyprus

Games played in Cyprus

Learn about the games that are played in Cyprus and how they play them and at the same time learn many phrases and words that they use in the villages of Cyprus!

In Cyprus there are table games and traditional games. Some games come from Greece, but they play them a lot in Cyprus, and other games are originally Cypriot games! The games that arew also played in Greece, are played in villages and towns, but the traditional games are played in villages and especially by the older generations.

The games of the people of Cyprus are a valuable cultural heritage, as are the other similar heritages, like the fairytales, songs, proverbs, etc. Some games will never stop fascinate every child no matter how many years pass. We will not see them in the showrooms of children's toys, neither can they can be replaced by electronic games or virtual reality games. Also traditional games pass from generation to generation.

Backgammon or Tavli in greek is a board game for two players. Each player holds 15 checkers, moving on a dashboard according to the results of two dice. Each player's goal is to collect all the checkers from the board first. The player who finishes first is the winner.

Tavli is especially played in Cyprus and Greece and it is enjoyed by people of all ages. It is also played in coffee shops.

The backgammon board is divided into four areas with six seats included in each area, totaling 24 seats, as shown below. Each player has a starting area and the player's area is the picking area. The player's checkers are cycled from the starting area to the picking area. When a player has all of his checkers in his picking area he is allowed to start collecting.

Pilotta is a trick-taking 32-card game derived from Belote. It is played primarily in Cyprus and it’s very popular among the Cypriot population, especially the young ones, who usually arrange “pilotta meetings” in places such as coffee shops.

First, the 32 card deck is shuffled and then 'cut' by the player on the left of the one who shuffled. The one who cuts is assigned hearts and moving on anticlockwise the players are assigned a suit in this order. If the suit which made the cut is hearts, for example, then the player who shuffled and cut the deck will be the dealer. If it was spades, then the person on the left of the shuffler is the dealer.

At the end of each turn, the player on dealer's left becomes the new dealer.

More details of the game

Kremala(=Hangman) is a game whose purpose is to search for hidden words, letter to letter by the players. It is timeless and is played by all ages.

The number of players varies from 2 to 4. The steps followed are relatively easy. Initially, in a glue paper a hanging is painted and dashes are placed next to each letter of the word the opponent is looking for. Then, the opponent says a letter from the alphabet, if the letter said by the opponent is in the word, then the letter is placed in the corresponding dash. But if it is wrong, then its head is drawn on the hanging and the letter is marked at a corner of the paper so that it knows what letters it has said. In this way, the game continues, either until the opponent finds the word or loses, if all the members of the body are designed and has not yet found the word.

Competitive skill game played by two or more people. Like all the similar games, it always causes interest whenever and wherever it is played, and it has found plenty of eager spectators, both in the competitive part, and usually in the fun continuity of punishing the losers.

The ligkrin was a small wood that was about 20 centimeters long and as a human finger thickness. They were putting it on two stones that had a little distance of each other. A child holding a narrow board tried to throw away the ligkrin. The other children were trying to catch it.

If they caught it with both hands they earned 10 points. With his right hand they earned 20 points, with the left 40 and if no one caught it between the two fingers they earned 80 points.Photo by:

Ziziros is a fun game played by young men. Elegance and swiftness are qualities that players must possess.

It is being played by three players. After draw, one is in the middle and the other two left and right behind him, half a meter away, stationary in fixed positions. The middle one is the "ziziros", the cicada. It takes this name because he imitates the sharp movements and the voice of this insect. The "ziziros" wears a hat, the fez has been available for a while, and it stands firmly with a leg dimension so that it does not lose his balance. He unites the two fists one behind the other, brings them in front of his mouth and imitates the voice of the cicadas. Whenever he wants, suddenly for the other players, unexpectedly, without moving his legs, he extends his right or left hand backwards trying to hit one or the other of his co-players on the cheek. The two others cover their exposed cheek with the opposite hand with the palm facing out to protect them from any successful slaps. At the same time, they are forced, with the same hand, to hit the "ziziros" on the head and to drop the hat down. However, this can only be done when the "ziziros" stops screaming and stretches out his hand to hit. If the "ziziros" manages to pretend, he is quick and agile very quickly his teammates will get reddish cheeks, and if they do not like to have reddish only on the one side, they can change positions!

Of course, the one who will be able to throw the "ziziros" hat is entitled to his post, and he can repay after the failed "ziziros" will be in his previous position!Photo by: Rena Demetriadou

Dijimin is a game that was being played by strong men in the days of big festivals. The aim of the game was to promote and honor the village's "pallikarin"(=a brave young man).

"Dijimin" as a subject is a heavy stone, up to a hundred kilos (120 kilos) of size that can be found in the arms of a human, coming from a river or a fragment of old millstone, usually resting in the courtyard of the church or in the square of the village .

In the game unlimited men take part in the game and want to put their strength in competition. Each player, with the turn will be drawn, is called to pick up the stone and make as much steps as he can while holding it in his arms. The winner obviously becomes anyone who moves farther away from the "dijimin ".

But there is also a variation. When "dijimin" is too heavy, the player is not required to move it horizontally but only to lift it. The winner is highlighted whoever picks it up higher.Photo by: Layia Village Χωριό Layia
More games

So this is my research of the popular games that are being played in Cyprus! I hope you liked my article and that you want to try them one time, at least some of them.

Games played in Cyprus

Cypriot words that we use and we think that they come from the English language but we thought wrong!