Unlike other countries that are part of the European Union, Greece still has the true meaning of such a holiday as the Nativity of Christ – the birth of Jesus Christ. The date of this holiday is determined following the Gregorian calendar, so it falls on December 25th.
The Greek Church in 1924 adopted the New Julian calendar as the basis of the calendar system. In this regard, holidays with a fixed date, which includes Christmas, are celebrated by the Gregorian calendar. At the same time, holidays, the date of which changes annually, for example, Easter, is celebrated by the Julian calendar.
The birth of Jesus Christ in Greece and Christmas in the Russian Federation is celebrated in different months – the Greeks celebrate the great holiday on December 25, and the Russians honor Jesus Christ on January 7. At the same time, Greeks and Russians celebrate Easter the same way.
Features of Celebration in Greece
Residents celebrate Christmas, while honoring its religious component, and not just perceive it as an occasion for a gala dinner and exchange of gifts. December 24, the evening before the holiday, the children begin to carol. In groups of several people, they go around other families, for example, neighbors and sing a traditional Christmas song – Καλήνεσπέραν. For the fact that they brought the story of the Nativity of Christ to the house, the owners give children various sweets.
On the night of December 25, services are held in all churches. General holiday prayer gathers a huge number of people. After service in the church, the fun begins.
Relatives and friends gather at a common holiday table, eat and exchange gifts. People sing a lot, go out to dance, music everywhere. The Greeks take to the balconies, on the roofs of houses or just on the street braziers to cook meat.
There is no single list of dishes for Christmas because in each region the cuisine has differences. The only common dish for all corners of Greece is a pig or a turkey. Moreover, the methods for their preparation can be very different. Be sure to serve Christopsomo – bread from pastry with basil, decorated with a cross, and honey.