Epiphany in Cyprus marks the end of the festive period and the slow and gradual return to routines. Epiphany, also known as Theophany or ‘The Day of the Lights,’ is a religious celebration to do with the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River and his manifestation to the world as the Son of God. Priests visit and bless houses around Cyprus during this day, to bring good luck and a new beginning to the household. The cross is thrown in the sea, and eager swimmers swim in the freezing water to retrieve it and kiss it reverently.
On this day people around Cyprus cook a special feast, usually souvla and make ‘loukoumades’ fried dough balls dipped in honey and invite guests over. After Epiphany it is the custom to take down the Christmas tree and decorations, bringing an end to the Christmas period.
A second meaning of the word ‘epiphany,’ is also a moment of sudden and great revelation or realization and as it is a new year there is an opportunity to take a step back and look at what there is around us, as well as what we have achieved and done so far. There is the chance to start fresh and change for the better, striving to achieve and work through new year resolutions and become a better person, newly revived, breaking away from the old and feeling new. Let’s hope this new year brings change and something new with it. Happy Epiphany everyone!