Christmas for most of us is a very stressful time of year. Have you ever thought about leaving the strain of it all back in the UK and heading over to Cyprus for some winter sun? Here are ten facts about this festive time over on the island.
- In Cyprus, Christmas starts on December 24th and continues for 12 days until the feast of Epiphany on the January 6th.
- Everyone decorates the streets, shops, and houses with lights, fake snow and all things festive.
- After 40 days of fasting, Cypriots celebrate the birth of Christ in style. They feast on lovely foods such as stuffed turkey, roast lamb, chicken, and pork. Traditional sweets such as kourabiedes (small almond cakes coated in icing sugar) or Melomakarona (honey cookies with walnuts) are typical at this time of year.
- Even though Cyprus is often enjoying lovely sunny weather approaching mid-December, (temperatures around 22 degrees), there is still Christmas Spirit in the air in Paphos!
- Most villages host Christmas fairs or markets over the coming weeks, where you can buy any manner of presents and festive edibles. There is often a Christmas Farmers & Crafters Market Pano Akourdalia (near our Villa Quardia) or the Xmas Street Fair on Makarios Avenue in Pafos.
- Many tavernas and bars light their fireplaces for the evenings, making it cosy.
- The children in Cyprus have to wait until New Year´s Day to receive their presents. The first of January is the day of Agios Vasilis (St. Basil), the Greek Santa Claus.
- On New Year’s Eve, families get together and enjoy a lovely dinner, and at midnight the VASILOPITA (cake with a coin inside) is cut and shared with all family members. The one who finds the coin will be lucky all year.
- Over the Christmas, period pomegranates are eaten and used for decoration. This fruit symbolises of joyous times, good fortune, fertility January and prosperity.
- Experience a very atmospheric Greek Orthodox church service.
If you are interested in spending Christmas or New Year in Cyprus, have a look at our Winter Villas. These selected villas are suitable for a comfortable stay during colder winter months. Our 5 x Argaka Beach villas, Coral Bay beach Villa Kingfisher, and Lysos village stone house Villa Nicolas ALL have underfloor heating which is well worth the outlay. Villa Ampelitis has central heating available and pool heating, and the owners will also supply a few logs! Read a Christmas Review here “Memorable Christmas at Villa Ampelitis with a heated pool and snow at Troodos mountains.” Ask Irene for more info.
Winter temperatures vary, please check here so that you know what clothes to take.