To the members of the Greek Orthodox Church, Christmas can be found in second after Easter. Nevertheless, this is not to say that Christmas isn’t widely celebrated with special traditions. It’s difficult to separate the traditions between Greece and Cyprus due to the fact that they are merely the exact same.
On Christmas Eve, everyone goes to church; children around the towns take a trip from home to house singing Kalanda (carols) and are rewarded with sugary foods and fruits from the residents.
As family and friends show up for the Christmas Day banquet, which is much eagerly anticipated following 40 days of fasting, they greet one another by saying, “Hronia polla” (Lots of pleased years).
Pigs are butchered and are on most dinner tables, together with dishes such as roast turkey packed with rice, chestnuts and veggies or other meats such as lamb.
Sweets and deals with such as Kourabiedes (almond cookies) and Melomakarona (honey spiced cookies) are also put on the table as a Greek Christmas tradition.
On nearly every table, there are loaves of Christopsomo (Christ Bread) which is a round loaf, decorated on the leading with a cross.
Gifts Both Greece and Cyprus share a different tradition to the UK– instead of opening presents on Christmas Day (25th December), the exchange of gifts happens on 1st January, St Basil’s Day.
On this day the “renewal of waters” also happens, a ritual in which all water jugs in your house are emptied and filled up with brand-new “St Basil’s Water.”
Christmas Trees have actually ended up being more popular but are not conventional. A lot of homes will have a shallow wooden bowl with a sprig of basil wrapped around a wooden cross hanging from the wire instead. When a day, somebody dips the cross and basil into some holy water to sprinkle water in each space of the house. This is thought to keep the bad spirits (Kalikantzari) away.
are thought to be a types of goblins or spirits who appear only throughout the 12-day period from Christmas to the Surprise (January 6). They are implied to emerge from the centre of the earth and to slip into individuals’s home through the chimney!
The Kalikantzari cause mischief more than damage. Having a fire burning through the twelve days of Christmas is implied to keep them away.
Surprise On Surprise, the ritualistic true blessing of the waters happens.
Young men dive into cold rivers and sea to attempt to be first to get a cross which has actually been blessed by a priest and thrown into the water. Whoever gets the cross initially is suggested to have good luck during the coming year.
Surprise celebrations likewise include music, dancing and great deals of food.