Christmas and New Year traditions in Greece

Christmas and New Year are the most significant and special holidays for the Greeks. They believe that in the new year they will be lucky, and love and happiness will be in excess if you follow the festive traditions.

Stone as a gift

In Greece, stones are given to especially dear people – real cobblestones of the largest possible size that can be carried away. So wish relatives and friends material prosperity. According to Greek tradition, a heavy stone means a wallet full of money. This cobblestone is usually placed at the entrance to the house.

Smash pomegranate

Another tradition, the observance of which promises material well-being, is breaking a pomegranate on the threshold of a house. This should be done by the head of the family or the person whom the family considers being real luck.

With the onset of midnight, you need to turn off the light in the house and go out onto the porch. You must try to break the fruit so that the grains are scattered throughout the yard. It is believed that the more grains scatter, the more money will come to the family. If the family has children, then they collect grains, attracting happy days.

Based on this tradition, the Greeks even formed a stable expression Έσπασε το ρόδι – translated from greek "He broke a grenade." Usually, they say that when they successfully started a business.

Right foot for good luck

The midnight ritual does not end with breaking pomegranates and collecting grains – it is still important to return to the house correctly so as not to lose good luck. According to tradition, it is necessary to step over the threshold only with the right foot. The Greeks believe that only in this case in the coming year all things will be successful.

Health onions

In the new year, for the Greeks, it is important to be not only happy and prosperous but also healthy. The strength of the body and spirit provides them with sea onions. This is a beautiful perennial bulbous plant with green-white or pink flowers. During the flowering season, onion resembles a little hyacinth. Onions can be in a vegetative state for quite some time without water and land, so for the Greeks, it symbolizes longevity, stamina, and perseverance.

A lot of gifts

Traditionally, the Greeks give each other presents. Most often presented with baskets of fruit and wine, but also give books, souvenirs, home decoration or just money. Generosity does not always speak of affluence, rather, of kindness and attentiveness to those who are dear.

9 dishes

The Greeks put at least 9 dishes on the festive table, one of which must surely be cabbage rolls. The filling, wrapped in leaves, symbolizes the baby Jesus, who was carefully wrapped in a diaper. Also, the holiday does not do without honey, fruits, nuts, honey cookies, and kurabye.

Mistresses must bake Vasilopita – a cake with a coin. On a festive night, it is cut into pieces – one for each assembled, as well as for the Virgin Mary, Christ, business and home. Good luck will surely smile at the one in whose piece the coin appears.

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