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1st of april is a Cyprus National Day

31.03.2015

Cyprus National Day is a public holiday in Cyprus and is recognised on 1 April each year. It is also known to some as Greek Cypriot National Day and is a different holiday to Cyprus Independence Day, which is on 1 October.

On 1 April 1955, a guerilla organisation was established. It was called Ethnikí Organósis Kipriakóu Agónos (EOKA), or the National Organisation of the Cypriot Struggle, and fought for Cyprus’s independence from colonial Britain, and for union with Greece (known as enosis). The organisation was established by Archbishop Makarios III and led by General George Grivas.

In the four years following, EOKA fought against British installations in Cyprus with bombings and armed warfare. The British troops were temporarily depleted due to the Suez Crisis but, in 1957, the British Army sent in extra forces and sought out the hideouts in the mountains.

The agreement declared that the State of Cyprus would become a republic with a Greek President, a Turkish Vice President, the national languages of Greece and Turkey, and its own flag. The agreement came into practical effect later in 1960.

Today the public holiday is largely a day of rest and relaxation for the people of Cyprus. In the lead up to the holiday, schools reinforce the lessons about EOKA and the Zurich Agreement. On the day, many attend religious services.

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