The Holy Light, an Orthodox Easter tradition also referred to as the ‘Holy Fire’, arrived in Cyprus on a private flight from Jerusalem on Saturday evening.

In keeping with tradition, it was received by officials, representatives of the National Guard and the Church at the old Larnaca airport on a Cyprus Airways flight.

The dignitaries included Defence Minister Michalis Giorgallas, the Chief of the National Guard Dimokritos Zervakis, the Archdeacon of the Holy Metropolis of Kiti, Archimandrite Stylianos, the Mayor of Aradippou, the Deputy Mayor of Larnaca and members of parliament from Larnaca and Famagusta.

On arrival, and after being received by the Archbishop when it is taken to Nicosia, the light is multiplied and distributed to churches, hospitals and other places for Easter services.

The effort to have the light flown to Cyprus was in collaboration with Bank of Cyprus, the organisation SupportCY and United Cypriot Bikers.

The routes and delivery points of the light are being announced on the social media pages of the organisations involved, while the public can be informed about the exact times of arrival in the communities from their local churches.

According to tradition, the Holy Light comes from the ‘blue fire’ that is said to emanate from within the burial site of Jesus in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The Orthodox Patriarch there lights his candle from the ‘blue fire’ and passes it on to the congregation present at the annual ceremony.

People who light their candles from the Holy Light can carry on the practice for 40 days after Easter if they wish.

Cyprus is one of several countries following this religious tradition, together with Armenia, Georgia, Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, Russia, Montenegro, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, all of which fly the Holy Light to their country on special flights.