Christmas in Greece
Storefronts acquire a festive look, towns and villages meet the long-awaited Christmas with an abundance of garlands and rich illumination of streets, let alone housewives that little "Christmas" strokes changing beyond recognition from their homes since November. It should be noted that in Greece, along with the internal decoration of the New Year, external lighting design is widespread. Every balcony, every house looks bright and colorful, not like the others. All this variety of light and colors contributes to the festive atmosphere of joy of meeting Christ, and then the New Year.
Greeks have to decorate the boat at Christmas not only because the life of the country is directly related to the sea, but also because of the Christians. The ship is a symbol of happiness, serene and blissful life. The custom of the Christmas tree came to Greece in 1833, when the palace of the Greek King Otto in Nafplio has dressed up the country's first Christmas tree. Therefore, you can be see elegant herringbone and rushing in full sail boats in the towns and villages in the central and municipal areas of Greece.
Here you can have a good time with the whole family: kids ride a pony or camel; those who are a little older can skate, eat popcorn, cotton candy or roasted chestnuts and youth can seat in one of adjoining cafeterias even on the street, because of the numerous street infrared heaters «gas mushrooms».
Early in the morning on Christmas Eve children under 15 years start singing Calanda (ie caroling), bypassing all the relatives, neighbors and acquaintances. It’s a great joy for them, so they are already pre-prepare their musical triangles «Trigon» and decide with whom they shall come together caroling. Clean jingle of children's tools notifies all district about the coming of the great Christian holiday - the Nativity of Christ, and the ringing of metal sticks disperse the evil forces. The arrival of Christmas Carols are very beneficial for the house and its owners, who are trying to bestow kids by sweets, fruits and coins.
People usually sing «Trigon Calanda» and «Καλήνεσπέραν» ( «Good evening, the Magi") on Christmas Day. These songs tells the whole story of the birth of Christ. Everyone gathers in the church to the festive Divine Liturgy in the evening. Greeks generally give gifts just for Christmas so coming back home from the church they consider the gifts and taste traditionally baked stuffed turkey.
Momogerami («momos» and «Heros» which means «old mocker») are the scenes played out right on the streets of the city. It is very interesting tradition, preserved from the time of ancient Greece and revived recently in many places in Greece. Each hero of Momogerami, according to folk tradition, has a particular character: for example, the doctor symbolizes health, the judge means protection of an elderly woman, the bride means wonderful future.
Most of the Greeks spend Gala Dinner on Christmas or New Year's Eve (Réveillon) at home. Many of them go to the taverns, restaurants, in the music and entertainment centers or go to another place within the country. There are always a lot of special offers to do this. Holiday Réveillon in snow-covered areas of the country or ski resorts is an alternative version of the Christmas holiday.