As Cypriots prepare to celebrate Orthodox Easter police and local authorities are on high alert over lambradjia bonfires – a somewhat dangerous custom carried out by youth to mark Christ’s resurrection.
Big rivalries between neighbourhoods often take place during Holy week as groups of local youth try to compete with others by trying to have the biggest bonfire on Holy Saturday.
In Nicosia, alone, Strovolos Municipality has already collected nine trucks with wood collected by youth from various areas for the purpose of lighting up a big bonfire.
But the problem is recorded island-wide with even wooden items from schools – such as desks and chairs – being ‘stolen’ by students for the Easter bonfire.
Even though the lambradjia custom is weakening year after year it is still there – at the expense of local authorities and not only.
It is a custom that puts the health of young ones in danger as well with a number of burns and other accidents reported over the years.