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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 Corfu, Greece Anita Hotel
8.3 10
Anita Hotel
Perama, 49084 Corfu, Greece

Surrounded by palm and cypress trees, Anita Hotel is located within a 10-minute walk from Perama Beach. Corfu International Airport is at 6 km and the picturesque capital of Corfu with many historic buildings and the main port of the island is 7.5 km away.

Hostel in Thessaloniki, Greece Arabas Studios
Arabas Studios
28, Sahtouri Str., 54632 Thessaloniki, Greece

Being located in the historic part of Thessaloniki, so called Old or Upper Town (Ano Poli), Arabas hostel is an ideal place for backpackers, groups or individual travelers looking for budget and quality accommodation in a great location. The center of the bustling city of Thessaloniki can be reached within 15 minutes on foot. The train station is at 1.5 km, while the Thessaloniki Airport Makedonia is at 20 km. Many shops, traditional taverns, bars and the historic monuments located in the center of the town can be reached within short walking distance.

Hotel & Appartment in Milos, Greece Captain Zeppos
Captain Zeppos
Pollonia, 84800 Milos, Greece

Captain Zeppos is located in village of Pollonia, just 30 meters away from the beach. Milos Port is 10 km away and Milos National Airport is 12.5 km away.


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