In the difficult era that we live in -due to the entry of globalisation in our lives and also because of the mass transfer of populations -our community, along with the other communities of the non-occupied Cyprus, is trying to preserve our cultural heritage and salvage the manners and customs that we inherited from our ancestors.
A great enemy of the effort of the community’s inhabitants to preserve their folkloric tradition is time, which is minimal due to the modern way of living.
By now, the people are trying to maintain and convey to the younger generations those manners and customs that are directly related to the great celebrations such as Christmas, the Carnival, Shrove Monday, Easter, the Kataklismos (water-fete on Monday after Whit), and the first fortnight of August.
During these celebrations the families join together in the villages because of the holidays.
The manners and customs in our community are -in general terms -the same as in other communities. We will attempt to recreate that milieu by dedicating a few lines on each of those celebrations separately.
The greatest holiday of Christendom. The celebrations begin with the general cleaning of the houses and then follows the slaughter of the hog that is raised in the village, ensued by the making of the traditional dishes such as “lountza” (dried meat from the skeletal muscles of the back), sausages, “zalatina” (galantine with meat and spices), and lard.
On Christmas day the whole family gathers in one house and entertains itself.
NEW YEAR’S DAY
With the passage of Christmas, the families enter the process of the New Year’s Day celebration. The women make breads, rolls, New Year’s cake, “melomakarona” (plural, small honey cakes), and “foinikota” -all made as dictated by the recipes of their grandmas.
On the night of the New Year’s Eve they all gather before the fireplace and throw olive-leafs upon the live coals in order to learn whether a specific person, which they must not reveal, has any feeling of love for him or her.
On New Year’s Day the eldest person cuts the New Year’s cake, which contains a coin and the one who finds it is considered the lucky person of the year.
This day is decisive for the small children that will be rewarded for being “good kids” throughout the year. They will find the present that was place by “Agios Vasilis” (Santa Claus) under the Christmas tree.
This is the night when the fasting of the Lent begins. All the relatives gather in some house and have fun, trying to guess the identity of the masqueraded children that roam from house to house.
It is the first day of the Lent’s fasting and the entire family leaves for the fields in the countryside, grilling fishes on coals eating meatless dishes. This is considered the “honorary day” for the flying of the kite.
Just like during Christmas, families also gather in the village during Easter starting from the beginning of the Holy Week, the women warm up the ovens so as to make breads, rolls, “flaounes” (plural, pastry with cheese and raisins), and “paskies” (plural, dish with meat wrapped in flour).
On Holy Saturday, around eleven o’ clock in the evening, everybody gathers in the church so as to hear the joyful message of the Christ’s Resurrection. In the church’s yard a great bonfire is burning on, as the ancient custom commands for the burning of Judas.
Upon returning home, everyone sits at the dining table and eats the traditional “avgolemoni” (egg and lemon rice-soup).
On Easter Sunday, at noon after the vespers of Love, they gather to eat the baby-lamb and then, in the afternoon, they will all gather in the village’s plaza to play the traditional Easter games such as “Ziziros”, sack-racing, donkey-racing, egg-racing, pulling of the rope, etc. The games last until the Tuesday after Easter.