Anexartisias Shopping Street
Anexartisias is the main shopping street in Limassol, the name of which is, unfortunately, particularly difficult to learn how to pronounce for us Brits! Anexartisias means Independence in Greek. I have found that Cypriots tend to name streets after important events in their history.
A little bit of history
In Cyprus, Independence Day falls on 1 October every year and is a public holiday. It is celebrated by festivals at schools and a large military parade in the capital. Cyprus became independent from the British in 1960 after Britain gave Cyprus full sovereignty following, at the beginning of 1959, an agreement being signed in Zurich between Greece, Turkey, Britain and Cyprus. This agreement was fine-tuned and came into effect on 1 October 1960.
This holiday is separate from Cyprus National Day on 1 April. Both holidays relate to the same process of independence for Cyprus but each recognises a different event.
On 1 April 1955, a guerilla organisation was established. It was called EOKA (Ethnikí Organósis Kipriakóu Agónos) and fought for Cyprus’ independence from colonial Britain. The organisation was established by Archbishop Makarios III and led by General George Grivas. You will see many instances across the island of streets being named after these two important historical figures too.
The agreement declared that the State of Cyprus would become a republic with a Greek President, a Turkish Vice President, the national languages of Greek and Turkish, and its own flag. The agreement came into effect on 1 October 1960.
Today the public holiday is largely a day of rest and relaxation for the people of Cyprus and many attend religious services.