Christmas in Greece

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A Greek Christmas

Christmas (Hristougenna), the Feast of the Nativity of Jesus is one of the most joyful days of the Greek Orthodox Church. Traditionally, the Christmas holiday period in Greece lasts 12 days, until January 6, which marks the celebration of the Feast of the Holy Theophany (Epiphany).
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Boats instead of Christmas trees

In the past, Greeks decorated small Christmas boats in honour of St. Nicholas and due to the country's long marine tradition. Today, they are increasingly choosing to decorate boats, instead of trees (which is an "imported" custom), reviving this age-old Christmas tradition

Carols (Kalanda)

On Christmas Eve, children travel from house to house offering good wishes and singing kalanda which is the same as carols accompanied usually by the sounds of the musical instrument "triangle," but also by guitars, accordions, lyres and harmonicas. Until some time ago, children were rewarded with pastries but nowadays they are usually given money.
Χριστουγεννιάτικα κάλαντα ΚΑΛΗΝ ΕΣΠΕΡΑΝ ΑΡΧΟΝΤΕΣ

Sweets and Treats

Traditional culinary delights symbolize good luck in the New Year and adorn the white-clothed tables."Melomakarona" (honey cookies) and "Kourabiedes" (sugar cookies with almonds) are the most characteristic and they characterize the beginning of Christmas festivity. Another traditional custom that dates back to the Byzantine times is the slicing of Vassilopita (St.Basil’s pie or New Year’s Cake) on New Year's Day. The person who finds the hidden coin in his slice of the cake is considered to be lucky for the rest of the year.