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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

Hostel in Athens, Greece Athens International Youth Hostel
7.8 10
Athens International Youth Hostel
16, Victor Hugo str., 10438 Athens, Greece

Athens International Youth Hostel is a friendly, budget hostel located in a quiet residential street, close to the historic center of Athens and just 3 minutes walk from the nearest metro station. The main square of Athens, Syntagma, is at 1.5 km, while the lively Monastiraki Square is at 1.3 km. Plaka, the historic and picturesque part of Athens with narrow cobblestone streets can be reached within a 18-minute walk.

Hotel in Ioannina, Greece Krikonis Hotel
Krikonis Hotel
10, Niarchou Str., 45500 Ioannina, Greece

Krikonis Hotel is located in Ioannina, close to the city center and close to the University of Ioannina. The National Airport of Ioannina is a 15-minute drive away from the property.

Studio & Appartment in Lipsi, Greece Michalis Studios
Michalis Studios
Lipsi, 85001 Lipsi, Greece

Michalis Studios is centrally located in Lipsi town, just a 3-minute walk away from the port. The nearest beach is a 6-minute walk away.


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