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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.

Melomakarona

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 Thessaloniki, Greece Nouvelle Hotel
Nouvelle Hotel
7km Thessaloniki - Oraiokastro, 57013 Thessaloniki, Greece

Nouvelle Hotel is located in Oraiokastro, just 8 km away from the centre of Thessaloniki. Thessaloniki International Airport is 28.9 km away. The port of Thessaloniki is approximately a 20-minute drive away.

Appartment in Chios, Greece Iro Apartments
Iro Apartments
Agias Fotinis Beach, 82100 Chios, Greece

Iro apartments are located just 10 meters from Agia Fotini beach and offer self-catering accommodation in studios and apartments with sea-view balconies. Chios town is at 10 km, while Chios National Airport is at 8 km. Chios island can be reached with a ferry boat from Piraeus, Athens, from Samos, Lesvos islands and from Cesme in Turkey.

Hotel in Rethymno, Greece Archipelagos Residence
Archipelagos Residence
2, Odyssea Elyti Str., 74100 Rethymno, Greece

Archipelagos Residence is located on the outskirts of Rethymno, just 50 meters from the beach and a 20-minute walk from the center. The central bus station (KTEL) is at 500 m, while Chania International Airport "Ioannis Daskalogiannis" is 60 km away.


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