Author Topic: Greek Christmas  (Read 543 times)

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Offline Maik

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Greek Christmas
« on: Monday, 23 December, 2019 @ 11:33:50 »
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At a Greek Christmas the table groans with a rich and varied fare

Christmas in Greece does not have the carry the same religious weigh as Easter. The Greek festive season, which lasts from 30 November to 6 January, is a time for the family. Food is a big feature of this time of year.

Common Christmas pastries are kourambiedes, melomakarona, and thiples. One should not overlook the delicious karythopita from the Eptanisa group of islands in the Ionian Sea – a cake that combines cinnamon, cloves and walnuts soaked in spiced syrup.

On the savoury front, the Christmas table will groan under variations of roast pork and lamb for the main course and accompanying vegetables. Pork is the more likely choice because winter is the time when pigs are slaughtered in Greece.

The seasonal speciality in Kefalonia ...

A Christmas custom that is peculiar to Greece is the presence of the pomegranate which seems to be everywhere at this time of the year. It is usually hung above the front doors of homes and shops during the 12 days of Christmas.
https://neoskosmos.com/en/154499/at-a-greek-christmas-the-table-groans-with-a-rich-and-varied-fare/

Mpampes, (allegedly) popular in Central Greece, sounds... (ahem)... interesting.

Offline Maik

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Re: Greek Christmas
« Reply #1 on: Monday, 23 December, 2019 @ 15:32:05 »
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Uniquely Greek Christmas Customs

The biggest difference between Christmas in Greece and in other Western countries is the day the man who brings presents to children arrives at your house. And the name, of course.

In Greece, Santa Claus is not Saint Nicholas, but Saint Basil, (Agios Vasilis) and he does not visit Greek homes on Christmas Day but a week later. He actually shows up on New Year’s night along with the new year.

This is the day that Greeks actually exchange gifts, which sit tidily wrapped under the Christmas tree throughout the holiday season.


The Kallikantzaroi are goblin-like creatures which appear during Christmas to do harm to good people. They are evil spirits, and according to the Greek version of a universal myth, our world is connected to the underworld through a tree.

The evil spirits, or Kallikantzaroi, spend their entire year beneath that tree, sawing their way into the outer world. They manage to succeed, and escape during the Twelve Days Christmas, a period stretching from December 25 to January 6.
https://greece.greekreporter.com/2019/12/23/uniquely-greek-christmas-customs/

Whole article worth a read.

Offline TonyKath

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Re: Greek Christmas
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday, 24 December, 2019 @ 22:15:53 »
Thanks Maik.  Food is big in Greece - for all the festivals, esp at Easter and Crimbo. Made my melomakarona this afternoon! Christmas on a plate!  :x-smile:

Tony
« Last Edit: Tuesday, 24 December, 2019 @ 22:17:57 by TonyKath »

Offline Maik

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Re: Greek Christmas
« Reply #3 on: Monday, 30 December, 2019 @ 17:36:27 »
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Santa Claus or Saint Basil? The Eternal Greek Christmastime Paradox

Although Santa Claus, or Father Christmas, is the figure that all nations with Christian traditions associate with Christmas, one major difference exists between the Greeks and the rest of the world regarding the identity of the man who brings good children their gifts at this most special time of year.

In Greece, the Americanized name ”Santa Claus” simply does not exist, and children always wait for their beloved Agios Vasilis (Saint Basil) to bring them gifts on New Year’s Day.
https://greece.greekreporter.com/2019/12/30/santa-claus-or-saint-basil-the-eternal-greek-christmastime-paradox/

Offline Maik

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Re: Greek Christmas
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday, 31 December, 2019 @ 14:02:50 »
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New Year Traditions from around Greece

Bougatsa Eating

Perhaps one of the funniest traditions is carried out in Heraklion, Crete where on New Year’s Day people eat large quantities of bougatsa (a pie made with filo pastry that’s filled with a rich crème-Anglaise type cream) to ensure that the year will be gratifyingly sweet. On the streets of Heraklion, bougatsa stands are set out offering or selling the sweet, creamy pies.
https://greekcitytimes.com/2019/12/31/new-year-traditions-from-around-greece/