If you are planning on visiting Cyprus around Christmastime – or perhaps even re-locating there – then you have probably asked yourself how Cyprus celebrates Christmas. First off, you should realize that the northern part of the island, North Cyprus, the population is predominately Muslim. Thus, Christmas isn’t celebrated there among locals. The southern part of the island, however, is predominately Greek, and there you can easily find out how Cyprus celebrates Christmas.
One of the most important ways Cyprus celebrates Christmas is through food. Turkey with stuffing might be one of the main dishes, though souvla – pork or lamb meat roasted on charcoal – is also quite common. Alongside the meal, special Christmas bread, known as Christopsomo, is usually served. Sweets, such as Kourambiedes and Melomakarona (cookies from Greece and Cyprus, respectively) are also common.
On December 24, the children of Cyprus celebrate Christmas by traveling to different houses and singing traditional Greek Christmas carols. If they do a good job, then they are given sweets and dried fruits for their efforts.
Speaking of Christmas carols, remember that old one about the twelve days of Christmas? Cyprus celebrates Christmas for twelve whole days, with lots of feasting and fun the entire time.
While the United States has Santa Claus, in Greece and Cyprus, they have Kallikantzaroi, who are a bit more burdensome. In fact, they exist only to wreak havoc among families. One way that families in Cyprus celebrate Christmas is to keep their fireplaces burning all twelve days of the holiday to keep these mischief-makers away.