Greek Christmas traditions you should know
If you want to visit Greece for the Christmas holidays, you’re in luck. Although this season comes second only to Greece after Easter, there are several Christmas traditions. Here are the Greek Christmas traditions you should know.
On Christmas Eve, the children go home from home and sing kalanta , Greek Christmas carols, to bestow their best wishes to the neighbors. They are usually rewarded with sweets, dried fruit and small changes in a Greek version of the North American sweet or sour on Halloween.
Do not be surprised, a lit small wooden boat in the houses of the Greeks for Christmas. With a maritime history since antiquity, Greek women and children decorated small boats to show their gratitude that their husbands and sons returned from the sea and were spared the disaster. The tradition still stands today.
Thessaloniki’s Christmas Ship | © Tilemahos Efthimiadis / Flickr
The Christmas tree was introduced to the country by King Otto in the 1830s but found its first true appearance in the homes of Greek families in the 1940s. The trend has really taken hold, but the Christmas tree has never managed to overshadow the Christmas boat, and recent surveys show the Greeks are actually returning to the Christmas boat.
Christmas tree | © PixaBay
Like everywhere else in the world, Greece has honored pre-Christmas fasting with a series of great traditional dishes. In addition to the delicious soups and meat dishes are also baked goods such as the famous and delicious Kourabiedes (almond biscuits ) and Melomakarona (tasty soft biscuits in syrup) typical season. Vasilopita (served on New Year’s Day) or Christopsomo (Christ’s bread ) are some of the foods specially prepared for the holiday season.
Homemade Greek Melamokarona, a traditional Christmas dessert © Kalambaki2 / WikiCommons
Renewal of the waters
On January 1, some Greek families have an old tradition, namely the renewal of the waters, where all water glasses are emptied filled with new water; Many families combine this ritual with offerings for the Naiads. © PixaBay
As the Christmas season lasts from Christmas Eve to the Epiphany, it is January 6th
the type traditionally falls on January 1, St. Basil (or Agios Vasilios) Day – although many families now also exchange gifts on Christmas Day. Christmas Gifts | © PixaBay
The tradition says that in the 12 Christmas days, little mischievous goblins who as
Kallikantzaroi, come to annoy people and cause chaos in their homes. It is said that when priests bless the faithful ‘s homes on the day of the Epiphany, 6 January, they will disappear.