Red Rose

Picture this: Good Friday in Cyprus, the most solemn yet breathtaking holiday of the year. The air is heavy with reverence as mourning bells toll throughout the land, but not your usual cheerful church bells. These somber chimes echo at regular intervals, beckoning us to witness the Greek Easter Epitaph.

Now, inside every church, you’ll find the Easter epitaph, the symbolic funeral bier of Jesus Christ, decked out in a riot of vibrant flowers. The floral extravaganza extends to every nook and cranny, with blooms adorning the canopy and its supports. From morning till dusk, eager crowds gather outside the churches, patiently waiting their turn to pay respects.

People approach the beautifully adorned Easter Epitaph, reverently kissing the icon of Christ wrapped in linen, carefully taken down from the cross. And guess what? In some places, even the little munchkins get to pass beneath the Epitaph—talk about starting the mourning tradition young!

Of course, it’s a special day. Schools shut their doors, public offices go on hiatus, and most stores take a breather until noon. Why? So that everyone, yes, EVERYONE, can have a chance to visit the Easter Epitaph. It’s a day of mourning, and for those who decide to eat, the menu revolves around olives, tarama (fish roe), and delightful seafood like calamari (but no fish with blood, mind you).

Now, each community has its own quirky customs regarding when and how the Easter Epitaph takes to the streets, but it usually happens after nightfall. Picture this: streets barricaded, traffic halted, and numerous processions weaving their way through cities and villages. Clergy and altar boys don their finest liturgical robes, following the Epitaph carried by the congregation’s strapping young lads. And guess who’s right behind? The entire community, each holding a candle, turning the streets into a mesmerizing symphony of flickering lights and fragrant blooms. It’s a sight that etches itself into your memory, my friend.

But wait, there’s more! Some folks, instead of joining the bustling street processions, perch on their balconies, candle in hand, adding their own touch of beauty to the scene. Balconies aglow with flickering flames, joining the enchantment of the night.

And here at Red Rose, we take up the noble task of adorning as many Epitaphs as humanly possible. It’s a labor of love, a time-consuming endeavor that we approach with utmost respect for tradition and an unwavering love for our beloved community. Because when it comes to commemorating this sacred day, we believe in leaving no flower unturned.

Join us, embrace the beauty of this ancient ritual, and let Red Rose add that extra touch of reverence to your Easter Epitaph.