Boats and caroling are two huge vacation customs in Greece. On Christmas Eve, kids go out to sing carols in the street. They play drums and triangles and some of them carry little boats decorated with nuts painted gold. If they sing well, they’re given gifts like money, nuts, and sugary foods.
Another old tradition is a shallow wooden bowl with a piece of wire across the rim. Hanging from the wire is a sprig of basil wrapped around a wooden cross. Water is kept in there and when a day, someone in the family dips the cross into the water to spring it in each room of the house. It’s thought to keep away “kallikantzaroi,” AKA bad spirits. These bad spirits are thought to come out throughout the 12 days of Christmas, and they enter a home through a chimney – numerous households keep fires burning for 12 days to keep them away.
Finally, many big cities display large masted sailing ships, and these decorated ships are a very old tradition.