Public Holidays 2021
As we have just welcomed in the new year, we thought we would take a look at the Cyprus public holidays 2021. Anyone who lives in Cyprus knows that these public holidays are full of excitement and highly anticipated by everyone. The holidays celebrate cultural and historic events as well as religious festivals and, almost all the island come out to celebrate every single public holiday in Cyprus.
In this article we will give you all the public holiday dates for Cyprus in 2021 as well as a description of the most anticipated holidays in the first few months of this year.
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Cyprus Public Holidays 2021
• New Year’s Day – Friday 1st January
• Epiphany Day – Wednesday 6th January
• Green Monday – Monday 15th March
• Greek Independence Day – Thursday 25th March
• National Day – Thursday 1st April
• Orthodox Good Friday – Friday 30th April
• Labour Day – Saturday 1st May
• Orthodox Easter Sunday – Sunday 2nd May
• Orthodox Easter Monday – Monday 3rd May
• Orthodox Whit Monday – Monday 21st June
• Assumption Day – Sunday 15th August
• Cyprus Independence Day – Friday 1st October
• Ochi Day – Thursday 28th October
• Christmas Eve – Friday 24th December
• Christmas Day – Saturday 25th December
• 2nd Day of Christmas – Sunday 26th December
Epiphany day is always celebrated on the 6th January, which happens to be a Wednesday in 2021. Also known as ‘Ta Phota’ this public holiday is a celebration of the Baptism of Christ for the Orthodox Church.
The celebrations begin with masses of Cypriots diving into cold waters to retrieve a cross that has been thrown into the sea by a priest. It symbolizes the blessing of the waters and whoever manages to retrieve the cross is said to have good luck throughout the upcoming year. This tradition takes place in many habours across Cyprus with schools and other youth groups following a procession led by the Bishop of the district.
Epiphany is also celebrated as the day the world is cleansed of ‘kalikantzaroi’, mischievous goblin like creatures that attempt to torment people throughout the festive season. In order to cleanse the world, women will bake traditional ‘kserotiana’ or ‘loukoumades’ that are then thrown to the roofs of houses for the goblins to eat and the leave.
Find the recipe for loukoumades here.
Cyprus Carnival Season
Although the carnival is not an official public holiday and is highly unlikely to take place during 2021 due to the ongoing pandemic, we just had to mention it. This celebration is adored by many in Cyprus, especially those who enjoy dressing up and partying. The inspiration for carnival season comes from ancient Greece where Greeks dressed up in costumes and celebrated the god Dionissos. Cypriots have carried on the tradition but now it is associated with the beginning of the fasting for Easter. The main carnival takes place in Limassol where there are organized parades and hundreds of people dressed in various costumes. And, it’s not just the people who dress up, buildings are also decorated around the cities of Cyprus.
From all of the Cyprus public holidays in 2021 this is one of the most highly anticipated holidays of the year. Celebrated on Monday the 15th of March, Green Monday is another religious celebration that marks the first day of lent in the Greek Orthodox calendar. You will find everyone in Cyprus celebrating outdoors in parks, neighbors’ gardens and even on the beach (although it can be a bit cold).
Due to Green Monday marking the first day of lent, there are specific foods that are eaten. These include olives, cucumber, hummus and octopus. Meat, dairy produce and eggs are usually avoided during this public holiday, as Easter approaches until the end of lent. However, during this public holiday local wines, beer and zivania, the most popular spirit in Cyprus, is consumed.
Finally, if you are out celebrating Green Monday you might notice kites flying everywhere. This is a long-standing tradition amongst locals, they decorate their kites with bright colors specifically for this holiday.
Greek Independence Day
Next on our list is Greek Independence Day. This public holiday is celebrated in Greece, centers of the Greek diaspora and of course, Cyprus. It is the celebration of the Greek Revolution in 1821 and always celebrated on the 25th March and, in 2021 it falls on a Thursday.
Greek Independence Day coincides with the Feast of the Annunciation. The Feast of the Annunciation is a Greek Orthodox celebration that marks the day when the Archangel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her that she would bear the son of God.
As you can see from the list above, Cyprus public holidays 2021 don’t stop here. They continue throughout the year with celebrations marking Easter time in May, Assumption Day in August and Ochi Day in October. If you want to find out more information on these public holidays then you can visit our previous article here.
Cyprus is full of festivities and events to celebrate, there are 16 in total. So, you have plenty of opportunities to enjoy traditional celebrations.