Cyprus has a long-standing cultural tradition.  Name days (the saint's day whose name coincides with that of the person concerned), weddings and funerals all have great significance.  After the church or civil ceremony an important part of weddings is the ensuing eating, drinking and dancing, which may go on for more than a day.   In villages it is very common to invite the whole village.  Greek Cypriots tend to be quite superstitious; for example, Tuesdays are believed to be unlucky, so no plans or trips are made this day - this reflects the fact that it was on a Tuesday that the Byzantine empire fell to the Ottomans.  Some Cypriots believe strongly in the "evil eye", which comes from envy or too many compliments.

Arts  Notable artists include Rhea Bailey, Mihail Kkasialos, Ioannis Kissonergis, Theodoulos Gregoriou, Helene Black, George Skoteinos, the Kalopedis family, Nicos Nicolaides, Stass Paraskos, Arestís Stasí, Telemachos Kanthos, Adamantios Diamantis, Konstantia Sofokleous and Chris Achilleos.

Backgammon  This game - "tavli" in Greek - is one of the most popular board games in Cyprus and Greece.  Visit a traditional coffee house (Kafenio) and see the village men drinking coffee and chatting over a game of tavli.

Literature  Literature from antiquity includes the Cypria, an epic poem probably composed in the later seventh century BC and attributed to Stasinus.  The Cypria is one of the very first specimens of Greek and European poetry.  The Cypriot Zeno of Citium was the founder of the Stoic philosophy.  Epic poetry, notably the "acritic songs", flourished during Middle Ages.  Two chronicles, one written by Leontios Machairas and the other by Voustronios, refer to the period under French domination (15th century).  Poèmes d'amour written in medieval Greek Cypriot date back to the 16th century.  Some of them are translations of poems written by Petrarch, Bembo, Ariosto and G. Sannazzaro.  Modern literary figures from Cyprus include the poet and writer Kostas Montis, the poet Kyriakos Charalambides, the poet Michalis Pasardis and the writers Nicos Nicolaides, Stylianos Atteshlis, Altheides and Demetris Th. Gotsis.  Dimitris Lipertis and Vasilis Michaelides are folk poets who wrote poems mainly in the Cypriot-Greek dialect.  Lawrence Durrell lived in Cyprus for a time and wrote the book "Bitter Lemons of Cyprus" about his time here; this book won the second Duff Cooper Prize in 1957.  The majority of the play "Othello" by William Shakespeare is set on the island of Cyprus.  Cyprus also figures in religious literature, most notably in the Acts of the Apostles, according to which the Apostles Barnabas and Paul preached on the island.

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