Dress code: Cyprus churchesJuly 25, 2010
There has been an interesting discussion over at Cruise Critic regarding appropriate dress for those visiting European countries as part of a cruise. In particular: what should be worn for visiting churches and other religious establishments?
Those on cruises are often up against airline baggage limits and need to balance light packing with the ability to dress for all occasions. Whilst shorts, tshirts and trainers are preferable for sight-seeing they are usually not appropriate if the sights include the inside of a church. Among travel regulars it is often said that for visiting churches one should have shoulders and knees covered. Here in Cyprus it is not unusual for Greek Orthodox churches to have a more stringent dress code.
This is not to say that people would be turned away as many churches are not manned outside of regular services but entering a church in appropriate clothing could well give offense to local residents and churchgoers.
The most strict dress code we’ve come across to date is in the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary the Merciful in Kato Lefkara.
Outside the door of the church is a relatively standard request for visitors to dress modestly. However there is a lengthier instruction placed in the churchyard.
For men: long trousers, covered shoulders
For women: covered shoulders, covered knees, no trousers, no lipstick
Quite why lipstick is immodest isn’t clear. It begs the question: is lipgloss ok, or lipbalm?