Christmas is one of the primary holidays in Greece, and it is truly a magical time. Its abundant history and cultural heritage are shown in its many holiday custom! You don’t need to live in Greece to enjoy any of these traditions. You can include them into your holiday customs no matter where you live! Here are some of the top Greek Christmas customs that you can enjoy:
It is not uncommon for nations along the Mediterranean to embellish their boats for Christmas and Greece is no exception. This custom is especially popular along the coastal villages and on the Greek islands. While the Christmas tree was when a foreign custom for Grecians, the tradition now integrates both the designing of the trees and the boats. Hair and boats alike are illuminated all over town squares and other gathering spots.
Like lots of countries of European descent, the finalizing of the Christmas carols is a time-honored custom. The singing usually begins on the days leading up to Christmas, culminating on Christmas Eve. Known as the Kalanta, kids gather in groups and go door to door singing tunes for neighbors and good friends.
While the carols differ in between areas, the overriding style is among one delight and excellent cheer. As they sing the lyrics, the children play mini drums and metal triangles. For a task well done, the kids are usually provided small tokens of gratitude, such as coins and sweet.
It is no surprise to discover that sugary foods are a substantial part of the Greek Christmas custom. There is no lack of remarkable cookies and desserts that you will enjoy when commemorating the holidays in Greece. The cookies served on Christmas have deep roots in ancient Greece, extending back to the Byzantine and Ottoman times. Popular treats include melomakarona, almond kourabiedes, and diples. Finish the holiday season off with the timeless St. Basil’s Cake, generally served on New Year’s Eve.
This fun little custom involves the legend of mischievous hobgoblins that presumably play tricks and tease individuals throughout the time period extending from Christmas Day till Surprise Day. The story says that the hobgoblins live underground for most of the year, sawing the tree of the year. They only come up to Earth during these devoted days, returning back underground after the town priest takes a trip to your homes to spray holy water so that the little monsters leave.
Returning to the days of ancient Greece, pomegranates have actually been a sign of youth, all the best, and fertility. It is custom-made for the head of the family to stand outside the front door of their house on New Year’s Day and toss the piece of entire fruit on the ground, striking it hard enough that it cracks open. The seeds spreading all over are stated to bring good luck to all of the family members.
All of these Greek Christmas traditions are absolutely worth taking pleasure in. They are an integral part of Christmas celebrations throughout Greece.