ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Christmas in Greece

Updated on January 28, 2016
Carolina Crete profile image

Carolina lives on the Greek island of Crete, has published a guide book, and runs a website about living in Crete.

Greece in winter

Crete Lefka Ori, always snow covered at Christmas.
Crete Lefka Ori, always snow covered at Christmas.

Christmas, New Year and Epiphany Traditions in Greece

Christmas in Greece "Xristouyenna" is celebrated in much the same way as in other western countries, within the country and the Greek Orthodox Church.

The Greek Orthodox church is central to many Christmas celebrations in Greece, with church services held throughout the Christmas and New Year period. Christmas is a very special time for Greek Orthodox Christians, but it is not the greatest celebration for the church - Easter in Greece is the most important Greek holiday.

Christmas trees are decorated in homes and colourful lights strung outside on balconies and in gardens. Towns and villages are lit up with Christmas lights and displays. Boats are also decorated - not just those in the harbours, but small boats placed in town squares and in gardens - in honour of St Nicholas, the patron saint of sailors in Greece.

Christmas In Athens is enchanting with the main Syntagma Square being transformed into a winter wonderland of Christmas lights, decorations, a carousel and Christmas stalls.

The Twelve Days of Christmas

The 12 days of Christmas run from Christmas Day to January 6th, Epiphany.

There are a number of special traditional Greek Christmas and New Year customs.

Christmas Day is celebrated on the 25th December, while Santa Claus or "Agios Vassilis" (St. Basil) as he is known in Greece, visits Greek children on New Year's Eve rather than Christmas Eve.

Christmas Carols (the 'Kalanda') are sung by children on Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve and the the Eve of Epiphany.

Christmas biscuits, cookies and sweet breads can be found on every table in Greece at Christmas time - home baked kourabiedes (melt-in-the-mouth shortbread smothered in icing sugar), Melomakarona (honey, cinamon and nut biscuits and christospomo (which translates as Christ's Bread, a traditional sweet Christmas bread).

Christmas in Athens

New Year in Greece

New Year in Greece is celebrated with large outdoor parties in the town and city squares, usually with live music, dancing and fireworks.

Greeks also love to gamble on New Years Eve and play cards and a game of dice 'zaria'.

Epiphany in Greece

Ephiphany, "Ta Fota" or "Theofania" in Greek, on the 6th January commemorates Christ's Baptism and is another important Greek national and church holiday.

The Blessing of the Waters is symbolised by the throwing of a cross into the sea by a priest, while swimmers brave the chilly waters to retrieve it.


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)