Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Greek Cypriot National Day

Greek Cypriot National Day (also known as EOKA Day) is a public holiday in Cyprus that's celebrated on April 1.  This holiday celebrates the anniversary of the beginning of the Greek-Cypriot struggle for independence against the British. 

On April 1, 1955, the EOKA group was started in order for Cyprus to gain its independence from Great Britain.  EOKA stands for Ethniki Organosis Kyprion Agoniston, which is Greek for National Organization of Cypriot Fighters.  It's also known as Ethniki Organosis Kipriakou Agonos, which is Greek for National Organization of Cypriot Struggle.  This was a Greek-Cypriot nationalist military and political organization that fought for Cyprus' freedom and independence from Great Britain.

After years of fighting, Cyprus eventually gained its independence on August 16, 1960.  However, the official Cyprus Independence Day is commonly celebrated every year on October 1.

Greek Cypriot National Day is traditionally celebrated in Cypriot with small parades in various neighborhoods marching through the streets, as well as playing drums and waving both Greek and Cypriot flags.  Around midnight, there are usually continuous fireworks along with Greek Orthodox church bells ringing.

To view a list of the 2014 public holidays in Cyprus, please click HERE As the year progresses, plan to visit this blog to view updates and descriptions of the various Cypriot holidays.

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