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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

Studio & Appartment in Evia, Greece Philoxenia Hotel
Philoxenia Hotel
3, Krinon Str., Lefkandi Chalkidas, 34002 Evia, Greece

Philoxenia Hotel is built in the small seaside village of Lefkandi, Evia, just a 2-minute walk from its long beach. The town of Chalkida is 10 km away.

Appartment in Heraklion, Greece Matala Dimitris Villa and Hotel
Matala Dimitris Villa and Hotel
Matala, 70200 Heraklion, Greece

Located 12 km from the ancient city of Phaestos, family-run Dimitris Villa Hotel is on the coast of Messara bay, surrounded by trees, just 8 minutes from Matala beach.

Hotel in Nafplio, Greece Deves Hotel
Deves Hotel
50, Argous Str., 21100 Nafplio, Greece

Deves Hotel is situated within a 15-minute walk from the historic center of the picturesque town of Nafplio and a 10-minute walk from the bus station (KTEL). The nearest beach can be found within 20 minutes on foot.


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