Greek Christmas customs
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Greek Christmas customs

Greece ● 13 December 2016
 

Christmas in Greece is a special period that is celebrated with joy and many unique traditions. These traditions you will find only there, and they will make you feel the religiousness that is very important for the Greek people. What makes Greece an exquisite destination for Christmas holidays, which will be an unforgettable experience for you, is the combination of the glamorous and festive Western holidays traditions on the one hand and the religious and family-type on the other.

On Christmas and New Year's Eve, children visit the houses and the shops of their neighbourhood, and they sing with instruments like triangles or guitars kalanda, which are the same as Christmas carols. People give them money or treat them with sweets because the children are a sign of good luck.

The Greek people decorate their house with a Christmas tree, which is very popular in Greece, but a Greek custom is to decorate not a tree but a Christmas boat. This tradition goes back hundreds of years ago when the Greek men worked as seamen. During Christmas time, when they returned home after a long period of absence, their families decorated a small wooden boat to welcome them. It is also possible that this tradition is linked with the celebration of Saint Nicholas, who is the Patron Saint of Sailors in Greece.

The main Christmas meal is lamb or pork, roasted in the oven, and it is often served with cheese or spinach pie, salad and other appetisers. Necessary is considered the Christopsomo (Christ's bread), which is a sweet bread, flavoured with orange and cinnamon. It is decorated with a cross, and it is made on Christmas Eve to be eaten on Christmas day. Popular traditional Christmas sweets are melomakarona and kourampiedes, which taste like Christmas and are a perfect delicacy to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.

In Greece, the presents are brought to children by Saint Basil the Great, who is celebrated on the 1st January.

People in Greece also celebrate Epiphany, on the 6th January. In the Greek orthodox church, Epiphany is the baptism of Jesus Christ, and it is also known as the Blessing of the Waters. Young men dive into the cold sea, river or lake to get a cross, which has been blessed by a priest and thrown into the water. The man, who gets the cross, is meant to have good luck during the new year.



Where to Stay

Hotel in Athens, Greece Exis Boutique  Hotel
8 10
Exis Boutique Hotel
1, Spartis , Amerikis Square, 11252 Athens, Greece

Exis Boutique Hotel is located on Amerikis Square, only 10 minutes walk from the nearest metro station. Syntagma, the main square of Athens and the historic part, Plaka, can be reached within 10 minutes using public transportation. Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos is at 35 km. Piraeus Port can be reached within 20 minutes with an electric train.

Hotel & Appartment in Rethymno, Greece Sunrise Hotel & Apartments
Sunrise Hotel & Apartments
Paralia Korakas, Rodakino, 74060 Rethymno, Greece

The family-run Sunrise Hotel & Apartments is located just 150 m from Korakas Beach on the south coast of Crete. The historic center and the port in lively Rethymno are at 40 km. Port of Souda is at 90 km, while the international airport in Chania is 100 km away.

Villa in Schinoussa, Greece Grispos Villas Armonia
Grispos Villas Armonia
Schinoussa, 84300 Schinoussa, Greece

Located just 3 minutes walk from Tsigouri beach, in Schinoussa island, Villa Armonia offers accommodation in bright rooms and studios overlooking the Aegean Sea. The distance from Schinoussa town is just 600 metres. The main port of Schinoussa island is at 2 km. The property offers free transfer to/from the port. Schinoussa island can be reached with a ferry boat from Koufonisi and Iraklia islands.


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