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Easter and Christmas

Easter is the greatest celebration in the Cyprus callendar it is celebrated more than Christmas.  The Greek Orthodox Easter in not always the same as the Western and Rusian Easter.  Below we have added avery good video which describes it.

Carnival time in Cyprus - starts 50 days before Greek Orthodox Easter and last for 10 days. This year it starts on 20th Feb and we have Clean or Green Monday on the 3rd March.  Green Monday is a religious festival in which marks the start of Lent in Cyprus, everyone goes out into the fields and mountains and eats out in nature, but only green food, no meat.

This year Easter falls on the same day for Greek Orthodox and Western Easter and dates are 20th April  2014.  The Limassol Carnival takes place all over Limassol; there are Masquerade parties, balls and grand paradess of colourful floats and groups of fancy-dressed participants, singing and dancing along the streets of Limassol. Come enjoy the festival at its best, we have a three bedroom flat very near where the Festival takes place if you want to visit.

Here is a short video by Maria Louca which does a very good job of describing Easter in Cyprus.

Cyprus Flaounes

One of our Easter Traditions is the making of Flaounes.

You can normally find a recipe of flaounes on our Traditional Cyprus Recipe Website but this currently under redesign so we have included the recipe below.

 

FLAOUNES (Traditional Easter Cheese Pies)

Dough

1kg flour (village, Farina or plain flour is best)

1tbsp baking powder or packet of ready yeast

320gr of spry or ½ - ¾ cup of olive oil

2-3 eggs

Milk and Water – up to ½litre when mixed

Pinch of salt

250g Sesame seeds

Cheese filling

1kg of cheese(*)

1 pkt of ready yeast or 1tbsp baking powder

6-8 eggs

200g sultanas or to taste (optional – some people prefer them plain)

Fresh or dried mint (**)

Mechlepi (a sweet smelling spice made from the inside of cherry pips) (1/2tsp)

masticha (or gum dried powdered resin) (1/2tsp)

Cinnamon (1/2tsp)

(*you can use village cheese, haloumi, or cheddar cheese or a mixture of all three whatever you can find or prefer.  It’s nicer with village cheese and Halloumi)

(**if using fresh use about 1 cup of chopped fresh mint or less, to taste, if you put too much the pies will be bitter. If using dried you need about 1 heaped tbsp, again this is to taste)

 

Method

First make the cheese filling, as this needs to rest for at least 2 hours maybe longer.  You can normally tell it’s ready as it rises and springs back when touched.

To make the cheese filling – Grate the cheese; add the spices, eggs and the yeast.  Mix in the sultanas and mint and leave to rest.

To make the dough – sift flower and salt in a bowl and add the oil or shortening, mix well.

Add milk, water and eggs. Knead as leave to rest.  Again you can tell if the dough is ready when it springs back to the touch.

Prepare the sesame - Soak the sesame seeds in hot water, then rinse in cold and drain onto a towel in a flat tray

Beat an egg with some sesame seeds for glazing the pies before cooking

To make the pies – Roll out the dough into the desired shape, you can make them round, square or triangular whatever you prefer.  You can make them as large or as small as you like but the thickness of the pastry should be about ¾ - 1 cm when rolled out.

Press the bottom of the pastry pies into the sesame seeds.

Put the required amount of filling into the pastry, usually you judge this depending on the size of your pastry.  You need to leave about 3 or 4 cm to fold over the mixture so it does not escape when cooking. Press the corners where the pastry meets, lightly with a fork to seal the edges.

Leave the flaounes to stand for a while, till risen, again you can tell with the touch method.

Brush top with the glaze.

Bake in a hot oven on hot pastry sheets, till golden brown and well risen, the bottom should also be cooked.  You can normally tell they are ready in the same way that you test bread.  If you knock the underside it should give off a hollow sound.

Easter dates

Greek Orthodox Easter is not always the same day as the Catholic or Protestant Easter.  The Greek Orthodox Easter is calculated on the Lunar Calendar and the Russian Orthodox Easter is calculated on the Old Julian Calendar.

Orthodox (Greek)

Western

Julian (Russian Orthodox)

20 April 2014

20 April 2014

7 April 2014

12 April 2015

5 April 2015

30 March 2015

1  May  2016

27 March 2016

18 April 2016

16 April 2017

16 April 2017

3 April 2017

8 April 2018

1 April 2018

26 March 2018

28 April 2019

21 April 2019

15 April 2019

19 April 2020

12 April 2020

6 April 2020

 

 

Another UTube video by Maria Louca is on handicrafts in Cyprus http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Boz77KQijwQ&feature=share&list=UUtXoxU1JEaNNi1iH7NMmRVA

 

KALAVASOS HISTORICAL ALBUM in KALAVASOS VILLAGE CYPRUS 15000 YEARS OF HISTORY.

 


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