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August 15th is one of the most important holidays in the Greek Orthodox calendar. It is in fact the date that commemorates the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the day she died and was taken up into heaven.

Mary Mother of Jesus

Mary Mother of Jesus

In practice, here in Cyprus, it means that the entire country grinds to a complete halt.
It is, of course, a bank holiday and most Cypriot businesses center their summer-closures/holidays around this date, which means, in effect, that you can expect the country to move at snails-pace for the entire month of August.
Those who don’t take a trip abroad (with Greek island-cruises being the top choice for many Cypriots) will either spend it on the beaches here on the island (which means your chances of finding a vacant beach-chair are slim to none after 10 am), or they take to the mountains for a spot of cool air.
Naturally the barbecues all come out in full force as well, particularly in the mountain picnic-areas (vastly increasing the possibility of forest-fires) and the smell of the traditional souvla cooking pervades the air all over the island.

Outdoor BBQ Cyprus outdoors

Outdoor BBQ Cyprus outdoors

It is not a time to be impatient and expect to get anything practical done, but rather a time to slow down, go with the flow, and just enjoy the relaxed Mediterranean pace of life while you wait for the island to wake up again at the end of the month.So, come the end of July, some words of advice would be:
Take care of any impending car-problems – the mechanics will be closed.
Do your banking as you will otherwise have to hunt down an open branch.
Check the holiday-dates of your physician and dentist in advance.
If you need anything done by a plumber or electrician, get it done now or wait until September.
Finally, enjoy the stillness and quiet that descends on the towns as all shops close down and embrace that idiomatic Cypriot phrase: “Siga siga”, slowly slowly, and just relax! It will all be over soon!