Greek Christmas Customs – Greek Herald

By Billy Patramanis

Embellishing Boats

The designing of Christmas trees became a custom in Greece in 1833. Initially a German and Scandinavian Christmas tradition, Prince Otto of Bavaria, who ruled Greece from 1832-1862, embellished the first tree in his Nafplio palace. Christmas trees were thought about upper-class and just the rich would decorate trees, though this would change after World War II.

During this time, however, a famous Greek custom in households was the designing of boats. The tradition originated from Greece’s history with the sea as a maritime country. A decorated boat for Greeks was a sign of love and respect for the sea, and the inviting of household, who were getting here by boat.


The Christopsomo, or Christ bread, is a should on every Greek Christmas table. The Christopsomo has varied styles depending upon region of Greece you live in, nevertheless, each design has actually a cross made from dough in the centre, along with nuts sprinkled on top for success. The Christopsomo is consumed on Christmas Eve.

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Christopsomo. Source: Pinterest Christmas Desserts Christmas desserts are a tradition when it concerns food for the Christmas events. The 2 main desserts are the ‘melomakarona’ (honey cookies) and ‘kourabiedes’ (sugar-coated butter cookies). The active ingredients in both are made from products that are famously Greek produced; oil, honey, oranges and nuts.

< img width=" 781 "height=" 427" src=" 781w, 300w, 768w, 696w" alt=""/ > Kourabiedes and Melomakarona. Source: Greece

Is Christmas Carolling Christmas Eve in Greece is filled with Christmas carolling from really early in the early morning. Groups of children will go from door to door with music triangles and sing traditional Christmas carols, referred to as ‘kalanta’. The kalantas the children sing begin with Jesus’ birth, prior to going into songs applauding your house and the people they’re singing to. The kalanta ends with the children requesting for a gift, which will typically be a small amount of cash, along with a dessert such as a melomakarona or kourabiedes.

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> Greek tradition of Carolling. Source: Mom Lisa Florina Fires In Florina, a northern Greek city, the town has a custom every Christmas eve where lots of big fires are embeded in the primary part of the city. In ancient times, the city of Florina would start these fires in appreciation for the sun god. However, in more modern times, these fires are started to symbolise the birth of Jesus, and more particularly, represents the fire that led the Three Wise Men to Jesus’ birth. < img width=" 939 "height =" 587" src=" 939w,×188.png 300w,×480.png 768w,×435.png 696w

” alt=””/ > Florina Fires. Source: Greece-is. com Volos Lanterns On December 26, the city of Volos, a city in Central Greece, have their own Christmas tradition, comparable to that of Florina. In Volos, people come out at night along the shore of city and release thousands of “fanaria” into the night sky. The lanterns symbolise desires made on Christmas, hoping that when they are released into the night sky, their desires are satisfied.

< img width =" 891" height =" 510" src=" 891w, 300w, 768w, 696w" alt=""/ > Lanterns released into the night sky. Source: Stand-up surfing Santas In Parga, stand up browsing is a well known leisure sport that lots of in the area participate in. For that reason, throughout Christmas, individuals dressed up as Santa will begin stand up surfing in the harbour of Parga to spread out vacation cheer. It is a fun tradition that blends their beloved sport with Christmas cheer. < img width =" 779" height=" 404" src =" 779w, 300w, 768w, 696w" alt=""/ >

Stand-up surfing santas. Source: Parga, Greece Facebook.Cretan Santas In Chania, a city located in Western Crete, a brand-new custom which started 8 years ago is growing in popularity. The new custom consists of local homeowners dressing up as Santa and participating in a parade, called the Santa Run. This brand-new custom had more than 10,000 people dress up as Santa in 2016, with money from the parade being contributed to a kids’s shelter in Chania.

< img width="939" height="625" src=" 939w, 300w, 768w, 696w" alt =""/ > Hania Santa Run, 2016. Source:

Christmas Stockings

Christmas Pullovers

Christmas Pullovers

Christmas Dresses

Christmas Dresses

Christmas Jewelry