Tuesday, December 30, 2008

MY WORLD TUESDAY: Christmas and New Years Eve customs in Greece

Christmas in Greece means a Christmas Tree, plastic or natural, lights and decoration in the houses and out of them, presents for everybody and a special Christmas lunch with the family or friends or both!
We also make traditional sweets like melomakarona,diples ,kourabiedes and isli.

The children use to sing the Christmas carols on 24th of December, the New Year's carols on 31st and the Epiphany's carols on 5th of January.

The housekeepers give them money and sweets for their songs. On New Years Eve we gather to houses or restaurants and we welcome the New Year. We use to put a Squill or a pomegranate or some branches of olive tree outside our doors in order to have luck all the next year and we enter our house with wishes.
We cut Santa Claus' pie in pieces and split it.

Everyone takes one piece. That pie has a hidden coin in it and whoever finds it will have a very lucky year. I forgot to tell you that for us Santa comes in the night before 1st January!
At the Epiphany the priests bless the waters and then they go from house to house holding a cross and a basil branch to bless them as well. In this way kalikatzaroi
are leaving earth and people are safe again, as an old legend says. You see these nasty creatures compete to cut down the huge wooden stake which holds the earth in place, with a big saw. But the column is very thick and the sawing seems to go on forever.

All these happen in fifteen days and in that period kids don't have school- that means we all sleep longer- and we just cook, drink, relax, buy gifts and visit friends and relatives.


Arija said...

That all sounds like a great way to live.
Happy New Year to you and your family!

babooshka said...

I have never heard of New Year's carols but it sounds a lovely idea.

Anonymous said...

Always great to learn about other people's customs.

Happy New Year.

fishing guy said...

Marina: What a neat look at the Greek customs. Thanks for sharing the food of your world.

Robert V. Sobczak said...

The cake especially intrigues me. It's funny how our taste buds are aligned with what we culturally grew up with. Happy new year.

Lilli & Nevada said...

Oh i just love to hear how others celebrate christmas in other countries. That food looks yummy. Who found the coin?

Anette said...

Thanks for sharing your traditions with us! It's interesting to know about the similarities and differences! It sounds like a lovely Christmas and New Year's holiday!

Mediterranean kiwi said...


Gaelyn said...

Thank you for sharing your holiday customs. In many ways so like ours. The food all looks delicious.

Happy New Year!

Maria said...

Happy New Year!

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