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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 Naxos, Greece Annita's Village Hotel
9.1 10
Annita's Village Hotel
Main Street, Agia Anna, 84300 Naxos, Greece

Annita's Village Hotel is located in Agia Anna, a 10-minute walk from Agia Anna Beach and Plaka Beach. Naxos town, the capital of the island, and the main port are at 7 km. Naxos Airport is a 10-minute drive from the property.

Hotel in Agios Nikolaos, Greece Elounda Krini Hotel
Elounda Krini Hotel
Andrea Papandreou, Elounda, 72053 Agios Nikolaos, Greece

Elounda Krini Hotel is located 1 km away from the center of the popular seaside resort Elounda and just a 5-minute walk from the beach. The scenic town of Agios Nikolaos and the port is at 8 km, while the capital of Crete, Heraklion, is at 70 km. Supermarkets, shops, restaurants can be found within a 10-minute walk.

Hotel in Zakynthos, Greece Clear Horizon
8.6 10
Clear Horizon
Amoudi, 29090 Zakynthos, Greece

Clear Horizon is located in the small, quiet village of Amoudi, just a minute's walk from the sandy beach. Zakynthos town and port is 16 km away. Zakynthos International Airport is 17.8 km away.


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