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New Year in Greece, traditions and customs

Greece ● 28 December 2016
 

In Greece, New Year is also celebrated as the feast of Saint Basil, who was one of the forefathers of the Greek Orthodox Church. Greece has its own unique traditions this special day, which symbolise the wish for good luck, health and prosperity, common wishes that can be found all around the world.

In the morning of New Year's Eve, the children visit the houses and sing the carols like they do on Christmas Eve. However, the carols from the children on New Year's Eve is considered more important because according to the tradition, it is believed that the first person to enter the house on that day will bring good or bad luck. To have a lucky and good year, the best person would be a little child since kids are considered to be the best omen with their innocence, honesty and pure heart.

New year in Athens

Feasting with friends and family is the most common practice in Greece as well as all around the world for the celebrations of New Year's Eve. People gather with their families to enjoy a luxurious meal, and then, they dance and drink in night clubs and bars. Streets get very crowded, and traffic becomes slow. In many places, musical events are organised, and fireworks can be seen that create an astonishing atmosphere and festive mood. It is believed that the way you spend the New Year's Eve will predict the way you will spend the whole year.

 An ancient symbol of fertility and regeneration is the pomegranate. The housewives in Greece hang a pomegranate above their doors throughout the days of the festive season. Right before midnight on New Year's Eve, the lights of the house are shut down to let go of the old year. Once the clock strikes twelve, someone lucky and happy rolls the fruit against the door to smash and reveal its red seeds as a sign of welcoming the New Year.

Another custom in Greece is to bake the vasilopita, a traditional cake or bread, which is served to celebrate the memory of Saint Basil. Traditionally, a coin is inserted in the cake through its base, and the person, who finds the coin, is considered to have good luck for the whole year.

The Greeks hang also on their front doors a garlic or onion, and this tradition comes from the antiquity. These plants have the ability to grow fast and survive even when uprooted. Thus, they symbolise the regeneration and the hope.


Where to Stay

Hotel in Olympia, Greece Neda hotel
Neda hotel
1, Karamanli str., Ancient Olympia, 27065 Olympia, Greece

Neda hotel is located in the heart of the picturesque village of Olympia, just 87 m from the main road. The Archaeological site of Ancient Olympia is at 900 m and can be reached within 10 minutes walk. The distance from the train station is 400 m.

Hotel in Korinthos, Greece Hotel Korinthos
Hotel Korinthos
26, Damaskinou Str., 20100 Korinthos, Greece

Hotel Korinthos is set in a very central location in the town of Korinthos, very close to shops and restaurants. The Archaeological site of Ancient Korinthos is just 8 km away. Athens International Airport is 111 km away.

Hotel & Appartment in Mystras, Greece Mazaraki Guesthouse
Mazaraki Guesthouse
Pikoulianika, 23100 Mystras, Greece

Mazaraki Guesthouse is located in the village of Pikoulianika, just a 5-minute drive from Mystras. The city of Sparti is a 15-minute drive away. The nearest airport is Kalamata International Airport, 60 km away.


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