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Christmas customs

Below we will describe a number of customs of Dora. Unfortunately, the majority of them, no longer exist.


Some days before Christmas, all the women of the village start preparing for the big feast.

The preparations include cleaning of the house, dusting, cleaning of the furniture, cooking of rusks in the traditional mud ovens, painting of the houses and of the external wall and fencing.

On Christmas day, people goes to church. After the service they receive communion (“paskazei” in the Cypriot dialect) and then they exchange wishes and kisses.

Thereafter, they return to their homes and the entire family sits on the table for the traditional soup “avgolemoni” (made of eggs, lemon and rice) or trachana (traditional soup made of coarse wheat), in a pleasant environment.

A week before Christmas the inhabitants of Dora went in Paphos and bought some pigs. Two or three days before Christmas, they butchered them and with their meat they made lountza (traditional smoked ham), sausage and minced meat. With their tummy, they made dry-salted meat (pasta) and with the feet and head they made “zalatina” (a kind of brawn). The sausages were dipped in wine and then they were exposed to the sun. The other parts of the pig, were semi-cooked and kept in “koumnia” (clay pots) with all their fat, which melted after cooking. This way they had supplies for a very long time.

New year’s day

On New Year’s Eve, the housewives prepare “Vasilopitta” (traditional pie) and put a coin in it. The pie is cut in the afternoon of New Year’s Day. The person who finds the coin, is considered the luckiest person of the year.

On New Year’s Day people go to church to attend to the service and when it is finished they exchange kisses and wishes.

They also play cards in coffee shops and in different houses until morning. Some of these games are “Shiemes”, “Poka”, “Poker”, “Patito” and “Triantaena”.

On the day of the epiphany, all the housewives made “loukoumades” (fried honey puffs) and ate them with their families. One old tradition said that “kalikantzaroi” (goblins) came to the village and roamed at night scaring the people. So, women threw some “loukoumades” on the roofs of their houses believing that “kalikantzaroi” would eat them and leave the village quietly.

After the service, the priest of the village accompanied by a child, went to all the houses and hallowed (sprinkled with holy water).

Lent Period

The Lent period begins on the Sunday of the Prodian Son and continues till the Sunday of “Tyrofagos” (last day of the Carnival).
Usually during this period, a lot of people masqueraded and went to friendly houses where they amused the owners.

On Clean Monday (or Shrove Monday), the inhabitants overflowed the fields where they celebrated the day, eating Lenten food.

 September 2019

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