Bread-making tradition in Athienou


Athienou Municipality, Kallinikeion Municipal Museum of Athienou


Communities Concerned - Bearers of the element:

Athienou Municipality, Kallinikeion Municipal Museum of Athienou, Traditional Flour Mill of Andreas Chatzitheocharous “Mylos tou Kayiafou”, Cultural Associations, schools and bread-makers in Athienou.


Domain of Intangible Cultural Heritage:

Traditional nutrition and customary practices


Date of inscription:



Geographical distribution:

Since ancient times, bread has been a consumer, social and cultural good all over Cyprus.  During the 20th century, Athienou was especially associated with bread, as many residents of Athienou started marketing it:  initially in was produced in large quantities in homes, then on a broader scale in bakeries and was sold around various parts of Cyprus. 


Brief description:

Athienou has a long bread-making tradition and is famous for the widely known round “common Cypriot bread”.  This bread was made at home mainly to be consumed by the family members.  Its main ingredients are local flour, from which only oats are extracted, water and salt.  Its preparation starts by making the leaven, in other words the sourdough which is necessary for the fermentation; to make the sourdough holy water from the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross or water from the first rain was used.

In the 20th century, several Athienou families started marketing their breads as street sellers in their vehicles or in bakeries, thus making them known all over the island.  However, the importance of bread-making in Athienou is not restricted to consumption and trade; the preparation of bread in houses and yards was at the same time a social practice bringing people from different families and different generations closer.  At the same time, bread-making is closely linked to religious practices which are still preserved by women in the communities, as they learned them from their mothers and grand-mothers.