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12° Nicosia,
29 May, 2024
 
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Lambradjia youths warn town to back off

Local mayor calls on fellow citizens not to put up with plundering youths

Newsroom

A safety initiative to curb illegal lambradjia bonfires on Greek Easter has been met with a resistance in a local community in Limassol, where delinquent youths have been ransacking homes in search of flammable wood.

Kato Polemidia mayor Nicos Anastasiou says security cameras outside the town hall have recorded a group of individuals who spray painted slogans after getting wind of a local meeting to discuss illegal lambradjia bonfires.

Photos on social media showed spray painted graffiti on glass windows, with slogans saying “we run this town during lambradjia” and “you’re either with us or against us.”

Anastasiou said a meeting had been scheduled for Monday between town officials and church representatives to discuss lambradjia, a tradition in Cyprus where Greek Cypriots gather outside a church yard and burn an effigy of Judas.

But things got out of hand in Kato Polemidia during Lent, a 40-day period leading up to Easter as local youths gather wood to prepare competing bonfires that take place not only outside churches but also school yards and empty lots.

“This is a big problem, the other day they stole an entire set of patio furniture from a house,” Anastasiou said.

'This is a big problem, the other day they stole an entire set of patio furniture from a house'

The town mayor said after a complaint with local authorities, the furniture in question was retrieved and returned to its rightful owner but added “there are so many other cases like this one.”

According to Anastasiou, youths do not hesitate to go into people’s property to steal wood, such as chairs, while they even cut down old trees for their bonfires.

While illegal lambradjia bonfires are facing criticism for getting out of hand, a sense of upholding tradition makes the issue more complicated in an island where people observe old customs.

This is particularly challenging especially on Holy Saturday when virtually every locality with a church community has some type of celebration.

Cyprus Police say lambradjia bonfires are issues that involve local authorities.

Anastasiou says the community already had a meeting with police but admitted to reporters that the problem was not local but national.

The mayor also said fellow citizens should not tolerate ransacking and called on property owners to file complaints if they fall victims.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  Limassol  |  Kato Polemidia  |  lambradjia  |  bonfire  |  Greek Easter  |  customs  |  delinquent youth  |  tradition  |  church  |  Judas effigy  |  Orthodox  |  religion

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