October 1st is marked as a bank holiday in Cyprus and in Nicosia, the Cypriots waste no time in celebrating their independence from Britain.
- When? 1st October
- Where? Across Cyprus, including Nicosia
- Price: Free
Okay, so you won't find Will Smith doing his thing at this Independence Day (like we saw in the hit 1996 movie), but there are some pretty movie-worthy celebrations which can be found in the Cypriot capital of Nicosia. Cyprus Independence Day falls on October 1st and features a huge military parade at its centre.
After a long and often violent four year struggle against the British between 1955-1959, an agreement was signed between Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and Britain which came into effect in 1960 and declared Cyprus as an independent nation. Today Cypriots celebrate this proud moment in their history and make use of the bank holiday with a huge military parade amongst other festivities in the capital.
Thousands of locals and tourists flood the streets as schools, offices and most shops close for the occasion. Expect festivals, processions and parties in surrounding communities as vibrant, jubilant vibes sweep Nicosia. The Cypriot flag is flown with pride throughout the city and as the day comes to an end, an open reception is held at the President's Palace.
It wouldn't be worth heading to Nicosia solely to experience the celebrations but if you're in the city, why not take in the lively atmosphere. Despite celebrating independence from Britain, the Cypriots are a friendly bunch so there certainly won't be anywhere near the drama in Will Smith's movie.
- Get there: Fly to Nicosia and then use public transport or taxis to get to the city centre.
- Stay: Book accommodation around Lykabittos to be at the heart of the celebrations.
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