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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

Studio & Appartment in Zakynthos, Greece Studio Stars
Studio Stars
Mouzaki - Laganas, 29092 Zakynthos, Greece

Surrounded by lush gardens with citrus trees, Studio Stars offers self-catering accommodation in a quiet location just 1 km away from the lively center of the cosmopolitan Laganas resort and 3 km from Laganas Beach. Zakynthos international airport is at 4 km, while the main port in picturesque and historic Zakynthos town is at 5 km. A bus stop with good service to the town can be found just a few meters away from the property.

Studio & Appartment in Andros, Greece Amorani Studios
Amorani Studios
Batsi, 84503 Andros, Greece

Amorani Studios is located in the village of Batsi, the most popular tourist destination of the island. It is only an 8-minute walk from the beach. Andros Port is a 15-minute drive away while Andros Town is a 35-minute drive away.

Studio in Karpathos, Greece Vardes Hotel Studios
Vardes Hotel Studios
Amoopi, 85700 Karpathos, Greece

Vardes Hotel Studios is located 500 meters from Votsalakia Beach and 700 meters from Pera Ammos Beach. Karpathos town and the port are at 6.5 km, while Diafani port is 53 km away. Vardes Hotel Studios is 12 km away from Karpathos Island National Airport.


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