Traditions in Greece: when we celebrate Christmas and how to celebrate the New year?
The ancient Greeks celebrated the New year in the summer, this date was selected on June 22. This is the longest day of the year. This tradition has not survived to our days.
The modern holiday in Greece is considered a family celebration and it is celebrated together with St. Basil's day. The Russian tradition is not much different from how celebrate New year in Greece.
Winter celebrations in Greece - photos
In Greece Christmas and New year are favorite celebrations for residents and guests. These days on the streets of a holiday does not stop.
Read more in our articlehow long to fly to Greece from Russia and are there direct flights.
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When and what the numbers say?
Despite the fact that Greece is an Orthodox country, Christmas is celebrated in it on December 25. This difference in the dates of celebrating Christmas with the Russian Orthodox traditions due to the difference in adopted countries systems of chronology.
Russia uses the calendar introduced by Julius Caesar, while Greece follows the Gregorian calendar.
The transition of the Greeks on the other calendar was due to religious reasons. They were motivated to celebrate Easter with the whole Christian world.
New year in Greece is a secular celebration. It is part of the official holidays of the country and is celebrated in the night from 31 December to 1 January.
The first mentions about the celebration of Christmas can be found in the annals relating to the III century. During this period there was no division of Christians into Catholics and Orthodox.
Finally the tradition of celebrating prevailed in the country in the fourth century during the reign of Pope Julius.
The celebration of Christmas and New year in the country lasts for 12 days. In Greece 1 January is celebrated Protochnoye — St. Basil's day. On a festive new year tables this day is fixed pie "vasilopita". To celebrate Prochrono in Greece began after the Saint's death in the year 379.
How does one celebrate Christmas?
Christmas in Greece represent the period of the great discounts. The prices of many goods in the shops are falling by tens of percent. Them in contrast to the rapidly rising prices of taxi and restaurants.
In the next article you can read the list of services in hotels of Greece.
During Christmas in the country there is a lot of interesting things for children. Godparents giving them gifts and take them to a festive service in the Church. Regardless of the presence of voice and hearing children take to the streets to sing Christmas songs. This singing generously paid adult. Such singing reminiscent of Russian Christmas carols.
Before Christmas, Greece is decorated with Christmas trees and figurines of the Holy Family. Necessarily for the New year the Greeks decorate the ships. According to one ancient tradition, they go into the forest and cut down an olive. This tree need to heat the home from Christmas to Epiphany. In order to get rid of evil spirits, before Christmas to clean the chimneys.
The main dish of the Christmas table is bread. For holiday baked two kinds of bread - "christopsomo" and "vasilopita". They are prepared according to traditional recipes. A crust of bread decorated with figures moulded out of dough. With them on the table exhibited any pork dishes.
Traditional day of the dish is rice-stuffed roast Turkey.
Venison and poultry are present on the tables of the Greeks all 12 days of the holidays. Very popular dishes of wild boar and hare.
How to celebrate New year?
Newyear in the country relates to the official secular holidays. The Greeks prefer to celebrate it with family and friends. This does not exclude the fact that crowds of people go out new year's eve on the streets.
Symbols and customs
In his life the Greeks have preserved many ancient traditions. One of them is to bring in guests stones. They are placed under the door of the owners. So it is the Express wish of prosperity and wealth.
Among the most popular Greek customs:
- "Carols". They are held at Christmas, New year and Epiphany.
- "Podariko". Otherwise this custom is called "happy foot". To ensure that the year was successful in his first day the threshold of the house with the right foot should cross the child.
- The breaking of pomegranate. On new year's day ripe the fruit splits on the wall of the house. After the break, all the family members dip their fingers in honey and lick them.
- Young girls Greek women wonder new year's eve at her spouse. Before going to bed they put under the pillow a piece of birthday cake.
- Installed in homes for the holidays the Christmas tree in the first days of the New year are burned in fireplaces or furnaces.
Read in this articlewhat places of Greece, preserved since ancient times, is worth a visit in the first place.
In the New year in Greece is not accepted to shout loudly, let the house of black dogs and to grind coffee.
The Grand celebration is held in Athens. In the capital, on Syntagma square, the main tree is installed. Opposite the square is the Greek Parliament building. In the new year night after the speech of mayor of Athens on the tree the lights and begin mass celebrations.
In different parts of the city run fireworks and street concerts are held. They are the famous artists and Amateur groups, sounds of pop music and symphonic music.
To the symbols of the New year in Greece can take pomegranate and olive trees. They are associated with different folk traditions. All can be biblical figures.
Who brings the presents?
Gifts to the homes of the Greeks in the New year and Christmas brings St. Basil. This character is similar to the Russian Ded Moroz. He is the patron Saint of the poor. Find gifts in the socks are hung by the chimney.
The Greeks do not give each other expensive things. Most often in socks you can find Souvenirs.
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Obligatory dish of the Christmas table, and Christmas is pork. It can be a pig, baked potatoes, or succulent lamb. In this feast the Greeks like to cook the Turkey in wine with raisins and nuts. Always lots of cheese, wine and fruit.
In traditional Greek bread is baked on the happiness coin. The first piece of bread is left to the Holy Basil.
New year tours in Greece are popular among the tourists from different countries of the world. The Russians are no exception. These days Greece is becoming a big concert venue.
Meet snow in Greece for the holidays is possible only in certain areas. Subzero temperature in this period is held in the Northern part of the country. The temperature is lowered in these regions-up 2-4 degrees.
The rest of the territory is humid weather with air temperature +10-12 degrees. To spoil the festive mood can rain and slush.
Where to go?
The holidays in Greece you can find a lot of interesting places to celebrate. Despite the fact that the holiday is celebrated on a smaller scale than in Russia, the choice of activities is wide enough. It includes:
- concerts on the Central square of Athens;
- holiday shows in clubs and taverns;
- fairs and sales.
For children arranged a Christmas performance. The historical ruins of the feast tables. In the art center Fougaro is a winter arts festival.
When choosing a place to travel you need to have an idea on how and where the new year's holidays. A big way New year is celebrated in Athens. At midnight fireworks are held here. Fans of carnivals should recover in Kastoria, Aride or Epirus.
During the carnivals held the ritual of "purification" - everyone jump over the fire.
Vacation on the island of Crete will appeal to fans of gastronomic delights. Especially tasty is prepared wild game, roasted on the coals or a spit.
More Christmas and new year Greek traditions to learn from this video: