Traditionally, virginity was much prized in Cypriot brides although in modern times it is thoroughly eradicated on the night of the aravones or engagement ceremony if not before. (Whilst not actually part of the ceremony, this is none the less standard practice.)
Around the world in many of the less sophisticated countries, men assume that they can fornicate merrily with all comers whilst still being assured of an ample supply of marriage-worthy virgins for later on when they choose to settle down. On an island as small as Cyprus however this attitude is perhaps somewhat more short-sighted.
The reason for this obsession is as yet not fully explained, especially when you consider that a wedding night with two experienced partners would probably go a whole lot better.
It has been argued that the woman's virginity makes her worthy of her husband, but this is brought seriously into question as his virginity is not similarly valued as a mark of his worthiness of her.
Others suggest as follows:
At least the couple knew the subsequent baby was definitely a joint project.
There was no risk of the woman wanting to initiate anything or expressing any preferences, as she would not know what she liked in order to initiate or prefer it.
There was no danger that after an uninspired performance on the groom's part that the bride would say, "Is that the best you can do?" since she would have no valid basis for believing that anyone else could do anything better other than a certain lurking dissatisfaction.
These days such problems are pretty much a thing of the past, similar to the parthenes (pl.) themselves