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Magical Christmas and New Years' traditions in Greece



You will discover a rather unusual sight if you ever come to Greece around Christmas time. You will see beautiful little Christmas lights, decorating all major streets, parks and central squares. Palm trees that symbolise summer for many of us, are literally glowing in the dark and boats are decorated with lots of love and care.


Discover below some of the magical traditions that you will only find in Greece!


1. Decorated “Karavaki” – Boat

In almost every household you will find a beautifully decorated boat at Christmastime. This tradition of the “karavaki”, which means “small boat”, is an old tradition that shows how deeply proud Greeks are of their large number of intrepid captains and sailors and which have become a very symbol of national identity. Brave Greek sailors would spend the cold winters at sea, battling stormy seas in order to catch the much-needed fish. Their wives were at home on the islands, waiting with joyful expectations to welcome them home around Christmas time. Thus, the decoration of the “karavaki” became a symbol of honoring the brave seamen and celebrating their return.


2. Melomakarona and Kourabiedes

The two most popular sweets one must try around Christmas and New Years’ time are the delicious Melomakarona and Kourabiedes.

Melomakarona are sticky-sweet cookies that are soaked in honey with a spicy hint of cloves and diples and are sprinkled with chopped walnuts and honey.

Kourabiedes are Greek Chistmas Cookies which are filled with almonds and drenched in powdered sugar. Yummy!


3. “Kalanda” - Christmas Carolers

Between Christmas and New Years' Eve, kids go from door to door in their neighborhood, playing the triangle and singing traditional Greek songs, known as “Kalanda”. The songs are thought to b