March in Cyprus usually heralds the start of spring. There is sunshine through most the day, and pleasantly warm temperatures. However, the early part of the month may still be windy and wet. You can check the page about weather in Cyprus in the spring for more information about this season. If you are planning a visit, keep an eye on the local weather forecasts. I personally love Cyprus in March. But we have had some visitors at this time of year who were very cold at night, and saw little sunshine in the daytime.
As the weather gets gradually warmer, so more restaurants and hotels start to open in preparation for the holiday season. The island is usually very green by the time March arrives, with wild flowers almost everywhere. You can usually see swathes of yellow flowers in waste areas. These are technically weeds, but many of them are very pretty. You see them around trees, and even by the side of the highways.
Cypriots sometimes call March ‘yellow month’. Trees start to develop fruit. In the case of the many citrus trees, they continue to produce the fruit that they have borne through the winter months. It’s important to remember to put clocks and watches forward by an hour in the early hours of the last Sunday of March. (We put them back again on the last Sunday of October). This is in line with the rest of Europe.
You will find that the supermarkets and fruit shops have an excellent selection of fresh fruit and vegetables during March. You may also notice large packs of ‘halva’. This is a sweet product made primarily of tahini (sesame seed paste) or semolina, in various flavours. Halva is a traditional Lenten delicacy, as it does not contain eggs or dairy produce. Greek Orthodox Christians traditionally fast from meat, dairy products and eggs (among other things) during the period before Easter. In Cyprus this does not happen nearly as much as it did even twenty years ago when we first moved here. But halva is still popular during this time of year. It’s something of an acquired taste, but worth sampling if you have not previously tried it.
Festivals in Cyprus in March
Carnival weekend often falls during March, followed by Green Monday. As these can sometimes be earlier, they are described briefly on the page about visiting Cyprus during February.
Greek Independence Day (25th March) is a public holiday if it falls during the week. Some bigger supermarkets remain open, along with the tourist shops and bakeries. But most businesses and schools will close for the day. The bigger towns have parades, featuring the uniformed organisations (Scouts, Guides, and so on). They also including representatives from some of the schools. There may be live music from municipal bands, too. The Wikipedia article about Greek Independence Day explains its origins, but it is not entirely clear why it is celebrated in Cyprus.
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