For us Christmas it time for family gather and for baking too! Our traditional sweet for Christmas are “kourabiedes” and “melomakarona” .
We get the opportunity to play Christmas song and start decorating a Christmas tree at the begging of December. Some Cypriots are following religion and they are fasting starting from 6th of December until 6th of January
Beautiful carols called “”kalanda” have been handed down from Byzantine times and add to the reverent quality of the celebration. “Kalikantzari” (or Calicantzari) according to myth; prey upon people only during the twelve days of Christmas, from Christmas Eve to Epiphany Day, on January, 6th. Apart from the “kalikantzari” other customs of the old Cypriots related to Christmas celebrations, were the following:
The children used to get their presents on New Year’s Day , as their “Santa” is Ai-Vasilis, w So on New Year’s Eve. Tradition says, that Ai-Vasilis would come exhausted; he blessed the cake and drank the wine. The children used to wake early in the morning and after cutting the “Vasilopitta” – Santa’s cake – to find out who would be the lucky one of the year – it was the person who had the piece with the coin in it – they rushed to get their presents from under the tree.
Grandfathers and grandmothers used to “ploumizoun” (give money) to their grandchildren on the morning of Epiphany Day, on the 6th January. So, the children, early in the morning used to go to their grandparents and said the following verse “Kalimera ke ta Phota ke tin ploumistira prota” (Good morning on this day of light and let us have our gift first). The grandparents were pleased and gave them their tip (money-gift).