Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas! (Καλά Χριστούγεννα!)

To all my blog's readers:

 Καλά Χριστούγεννα! 
Merry Christmas!
Some interesting Greek Christmas trivia: 

* Christmas in Greece is never celebrated with the same fanfare as it is in the Western world; Easter is considered a more important feast than Christmas. 

This tree has been made with firewood pieces. 

* The traditional Christmas decoration in Greece is not the tree - it is the boat. The tree has also been adopted for Christmas due to its widespread global use. 

christmas boat hania chania
Every year, the city council of Hania erects this boat in the main square of the town. 

* The Christmas period in Greece is not a one-day event: it lasts from the first time the Christmas carols are sung (24th December) to the third time the carols are sung (Epiphany - the second time the carols are sung is New Year's Eve). At each different carol-singing period, a different carol is sung.

* Although kourambiedes are most often made at Christmas time in Greece, these sugar cookies are also popular as wedding biscuits, and are made year-round in other parts of Greece as the traditional biscuit of choice.
* Another traditional Greek Christmas biscuit in Greece is malomakarona, orange butter cookies that are soaked in syrup and topped with nuts. And in Crete, they are often called 'finikia': the term comes from the Asia Minor refugees who introduced it to the locals.

*Christmas is seen as more of a children's celebration. New Year's is a more significant day of celebration than Christmas: this is the traditional day for giving children their presents.

Store window in Skalidi St, Hania

Greece can't stay stuck to her past if she wants to forge ahead into the future. Sometimes it's hard to marry the traditional old with the modern new - but it has to be done.

The central market of Hania (Agora), decorated for Christmas.

See you again on New Year's Eve.

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