The CelebrationConsidering that the largest percentage of the population in Greece is Christian Orthodox, Christmas is one of the biggest holidays in Greece. Weeks before the birth of Christ everybody is getting ready for the biggest event of Christianity. The schools are decorating their windows, the cities put up their Christmas trees and in the homes the housewives are working to catch up with the baking. There is indeed a lot of baking to do. They prepare melomacarona, kourabiethes, pies, thiples and many more goodies. Of course it all depends on the different geographical areas of Greece. Different areas have different customs & traditions. One thing is for sure, you can feel it in the air that Christmas is just around the corner.
Christmas EveChristmas Eve has arrived. The lucky areas of Greece will have some snow. The children are in the streets early, to sing the Christmas carols (Kalanda) and songs and to deliver the important message of Christ's birth to the home owners. Some give them cookies and others money to thank them for the good news. Nobody is working that day! It is a family celebration. Many leave that day from the big cities to go and celebrate Christmas with their families in the villages. Even the television and the radio stations run, almost exclusively, Christmas programs.
The Big DayChristmas day has arrived. Everybody is with their families. The radio is playing Christmas songs. At lunch or dinner the father crosses the Hristopsomo and gives a piece to everybody wishing them Merry Christmas and Hronia Polla. The kids don't have to worry about school. They play and enjoying this big holiday.
Christmas is celebrated differently in various places of Greece. We will include some of the customs and tales of Christmas including the most popular one; "Οι καλλικάντζαροι (kalli-KA-ntzari = goblins)".