Culture Cyprus

  • Cyprus,
  • Cyprus
    Carlos Rodrigues / EASYVOYAGE
Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination Cyprus

Cyprus : Discover the country's culture


Bitter Lemons of Cyprus by L Durrell (2000)
Cyprus, A Modern History by W Mallinson (2008)


Cyprus, by AA Publishing (2009)
Cyprus (Lonely Planet Country Guides) by V Maric (2009)
The Rough Guide to Cyrpus by M Dubin (2009)


Cyprus - Tradition by A Aristidou
Music of Northern Cyprus by Yeksad
20 Popular Melodies from Greece and Cyprus by S Paphiti

Cyprus : Discover the country's history

Historical dates

Cyprus has been at the centre of the commercial routes connecting different Mediterranean civilisations since 1700 BC.

1700 - 1450 BC: Minoan civilisation
1225 - 1200 BC: Cyprus occupied by the Greeks
Between 1050 - 750 BC: The time of the Phoenician traders
330 BC: Alexander the Great came to the island
294 BC: The island was retaken by the Ptolemys (Egyptian pharaohs)
58 BC: Conquered by the Romans
45 and 46 BC: Saint Paul evangelised the inhabitants
647 - 651: First Arab invasions
1191: Richard the Lionheart took possession of the island
1489: Cyprus fell to Venice
1571: The Ottomans (Turks) seized Famagusta and Cyprus became a province of the Ottoman Empire. It stayed this way for 300 years
18th century: A period of revolts against the Turks
1878: Great Britain obtained the administrative supervision of Cyprus
1923: Turkey gave up Cyprus, which went back to the British Crown two years later
1931: The Greek Cypriots revolted against the English and demanded unification with Greece, which the Turks refused. Beginning of tensions between the two Cypriot communities
1950: 96% of Greek Cypriots voted in favour of enosis (unification). The British established a new Constitution that was accepted by the Turkish Cypriots, but refused by the Greeks
1954: UN notified of the Cypriot problem. The following year, the EOKA (Orthodox Greeks) proclaimed an armed struggle against the occupant
August 1960: Independence
1964: In response to the wave of violence splitting the two communities, the UN intervened and sent forces there
1967: With the beginning of the dictatorship of the "colonels" in Athens, the union with Greece became more and more improbable
1974: A Coup d'Etat against the Cypriot Greek Orthodox President followed by an offensive by the Turkish army marked the height of the violence. The Turkish forces took over a third of Cyprus, obliging 180,000 Orthodox Greeks to flee the northern zone. The Turks proclaimed themselves the 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.' To date, apart from Turkey, no country or international institution recognises its existence
24 April 2004: 76% of the Greek Cypriots rejected the project for reunification of the island presented by the UN. However, the 65% of Turkish Cypriots in favour of this project did not join the European Union
1 May 2004: the Greek part of Cyprus joined the European Union.
March 2008: the wall dividing the Republic of Cyprus and the UN buffer zone was demolished.
11th July 2011: The Evangelos Florakis Naval Base explosion, the worst peacetime accident in Cyprus, occurred when 98 containers of explosives self-detonated.

Cyprus : Stay up to date on the country's holidays and events


The inhabitants of the southern zone follow the calendar holidays of the Greek Orthodox religion, and those in the north follow the calendar holidays of Islam.

1 January: New Year's Day
6 January: Epiphany, celebration of the submersion of the Sacred Cross with processions in various towns
February: The two weeks before the first Monday of Lent are celebrated by carnivals in Limassol, Larnaca and Paphos
25 March: Greek National Day
22 April: In Larnaca, this is St Lazarus Day, the town's patron saint
April: Good Friday. Easter Week is the most important celebration of the Orthodox calendar. During Easter Week, churchgoers attend two services daily
1 May: Labour Day
Festival of flowers in honour of Dionysus in Paphos, Larnaca and Paralimi
18 May: International Museum Day.
June: Celebration of the Deluge (festivities in all the coastal towns)
8 June: Orthodox Pentecost
15 August: Festival of the Sleeping Virgin celebrated in all of the country's churches. The monasteries of Kykko and Trooditissa receive a large number of pilgrims
1 October: Anniversary of the Independence of Cyprus
28 October: Festival of Ochi
15 November (in the northern zone): Anniversary of the proclamation of the Turkish Republic in Northern Cyprus
25 December: Christmas

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