“Home Away From Home”: A Magical Time for All the Family Celebrating Christmas at best hotels in Nicosia!

It won’t be long now! Soon many of the best hotels in Nicosia will once more be filled with people in their chosen “Home away from Home”, celebrating Christmas and New Year in family-friendly Cyprus. It’s a magical time for the children, of course, yet there’s so much for all the family to see and do! The glittering, eye-dazzling wonder starts the moment you arrive in the capital…

Bustling fairground

Welcome to Fairyland! Easily found on Hadjiosif Avenue, Strovolos. You really can’t miss it. A giant shining Ferris wheel emblazoned high up in the night sky announces that you have arrived at a bustling fairground of “hey, look at this”, attractions and other eye catching novelties. Concerts featuring popular singers and bands from Cyprus and Greece will be held in the evenings right through the holidays. Kids will love it and so will your inner child!

Fairy-tale wooden houses

The magic continues… Makarios Avenue, the main shopping avenue of Nicosia, is transformed into a Christmas Village lined with fairy-tale, wooden houses offering all kinds of festive goodies, old and new, and of every description. Wherever you look, tall Christmas trees sparkle and big decorations twinkle and gleam. Until 8th January, it’s a non-stop daily programme of fairs, choirs, music and dance performances, plus plenty of fun activities for the kids to enjoy.

Those lucky enough to arrive in town before Christmas Eve, there’s traditional festive adventures galore for the culturally curious but also young at heart.

Land of the Snow Queen

“Christmas and the Snow Queen”, featuring huge snow balls and stunning laser lights, is to be held at the Latsia Municipal Theatre on Sunday 22nd. Billed as the main event of the season, everyone is taken on a thrilling journey to the land of the Snow Queen, accompanied by Santa Claus and a party of polar bears! There are daunting challenges to overcome and perils to face at every turn, including an ice monster defending the Snow Kingdom.

Free Christmas concert

The night before Christmas Eve (Mon 23rd) offers an opportunity to attend a free Christmas Concert by the Nicosia Concert Orchestra at the Pallas Theatre, Paphos Gate, Old Nicosia (8.30-10.00pm), one of the many traditional events to be held across the island.

Organised by the “Friends of Harmony” and under the patronage of the Mayor of Nicosia, Constantinos Yiorkatzis, the “Armonia” Chorus Ensemble will feature traditional seasonal compositions plus music reflecting the 15th century Byzantine heritage of Cyprus.

 

Christmas in Nicosia for the young at heart
Hypnos by bed N’mix in the city centre of Nicosia!
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Boutique Lifestyle of the Best Hotels in Nicosia: Enjoyed With a Traditional Cyprus Christmas!

Christmas in Nicosia! It’s a fascinating mix for the culturally curious traveller. The contemporary, boutique lifestyle of the best hotels in Nicosia enjoyed alongside traditional Cyprus festivities.

From the cool pastel tones and gleaming designer chic of a classic Richard Eames chair, hotel guests may also comfortably let their senses wander beyond the hotel balcony window. Throughout Nicosia, as well as in the towns and villages across the island, local communities are preparing for a typical Cyprus Christmas.

Sweet aroma of rich savoury bakes

As the days count down, perhaps you may pick up the tantalising, sweet aroma of baked “Kourabiedes” and “Melomakarona” mingling with the mild December air.

Kourabiedes are a type of light shortbread, typically made with almonds and shaped into crescents or balls, then baked till slightly golden. It’s also traditional for the rich savoury bakes to be flavoured with brandy, such as Metaxa – a fine Greek spirit made from aged, cask strength brandy with Muscat grape wine – vanilla, or rose water.

Melomakarona are traditional Christmas honey cookies made with flour or semolina, cognac, cinnamon and olive oil. In a final mouth-watering touch the cookies are filled with dates and nuts, and then immersed in hot syrup made of honey and sugar.

Offered as a thank-you to carol singers

When local carol singers gather together and go door to door on Christmas Eve, they are often offered kourabiedes and melomakarona as a thank-you for their vocal efforts! It’s a very long standing tradition indeed, which is believed to date back to the island’s Byzantine era (330 – 1191AD) or even as far back as Ancient Greece (C 800BC).

It’s known that children would visit their neighbours and sing while carrying small wooden boats in honour of Dionysos, mythic god of wine and festivity. Today on Christmas Eve, Cypriot children are more likely to be heard singing carols, known as “Calanda” and “Good evening, the Magi”, “Jingle Bells” and “Koleda”, which is mostly sung in northern Greece.

Decorated with the symbol of the cross

Another baked savoury, which is actually prepared by hand-kneading on Christmas Eve, is “Gennopitta”, a special sweet yeast bread – also known as “Christopsomo” as it’s usually decorated with the symbol of the cross – and eaten on Christmas Day.

It’s a reminder that Christmas in Cyprus is still traditionally regarded in parts of the island as primarily a religious celebration and is preceded by a period of fasting. For many Cypriots, devotions for the festive season are from the Feast of St. Nicholas on 6th December until the Feast of Epiphany on January 6th.

 

 

Looking to stay in town for a traditional Cyprus Christmas?
Hypnos by bed N’mix in the city centre of Nicosia!
We are rated as one of the best luxury boutique hotels, in a safe area with total security, 24/7.
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Festive Events in Nicosia Begin With Lighting the Christmas Tree!

The festive season is underway!

Naturally, the best hotels in Nicosia are busy preparing to welcome back regular guests and new visitors. They all love the personalised, boutique lifestyle and many often stay right through to the New Year.

With daily temperatures typically peaking around 18C, celebrating Christmas and New Year in the mild warm Mediterranean air is simply an irresistible combination. In 2018, a record-breaking 106,500 visitors were in Cyprus during December, up from 99,000 the year before (Cyprus Statistical Service).

Lighting the Christmas Tree

For those currently visiting Nicosia, the start of December sees the first of many traditional events in Nicosia to herald the coming celebrations. Lighting the Christmas Tree –  in a local public space – definitely sends a message that the festive season has begun.

The Sosse Chapter of humanitarian aid group, ARS Cyprus (founded in 1910), will be hosting this inaugural event with a “decoration and lighting” of their Christmas Tree at Homenetmen AYMA, Alasia 8, Nicosia on Sunday 1st December, starting at 3:30pm. The switching on of the lights is schedule for 6:00pm and everyone is welcome to continue the celebrations accompanied by music, snacks and a display of arts and crafts.

Annual German Christmas Fayre

On the same day, the annual German Christmas Fayre, organised by the Cypriot-German Cultural Association takes place at the Municipal Centre, by Famagusta Gate between 1:00 and 8:00pm. There will  definitely be something for everybody among a huge variety of handmade gifts and traditional German Christmas decorations and treats, such as Lebkuchen ( a traditional German baked Christmas cookie) and Stollen (a fruit bread of nuts, spices and candied fruit, coated with powdered sugar) brought directly from Germany at affordable prices.

No traditional German Fayre would be complete without the chance to enjoy the ever-popular German sausages, Glühwein (mulled wine) plus a variety of other German beers to sample, waffles and many other delicacies. All accompanied by a live serenade of Christmas music. There’s even an appearance by Santa Claus too!

Viennese Christmas Concert

A long-established tradition in Austria, the Viennese Christmas Concert takes place at the Presidential Palace, Nicosia, on Thursday, December 5th (8:00pm).

This special concert was first held in Nicosia in 2015 – and every year since then – in support of the Cyprus Association, “One Wish One Dream”, for children suffering with cancer and related diseases.

The annual collaboration with the Embassy of Austria in Cyprus is also under the patronage of Mrs Antri Anastasiades, wife of the President of the Republic of Cyprus.

This year features the special appearance of The Vienna Classic Orchestra alongside international singers and musicians. Many popular Christmas songs will be included in the programme as well as highlights from Viennese “Opereta and Valses”.

 

Booking Christmas and New Year in Cyprus?
Hypnos by bed N’mix in the city centre of Nicosia!
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