Instead of celebrating the birth of Christ, they celebrated New Year’s Day, with many attributes of the forbidden Christmas but no church implications. Orthodox Christmas is one of the most important holidays for many people in Eastern Europe, Africa, and Asia. When the homeowners invite them in, the youths sing. Christmas is one of the major holidays of the year. An especially Greek Christmas tradition is the decorating of a karakavi, of a small sea vessel. Orthodox Christians in central and eastern Europe and other parts of the world celebrate Christmas on January 7. There are also some traditional pastries that are served during this time of year, such as the Melamakarona cookies, which are usually only made at this time of year. Mariia Kislitsyna is a polyglot and literature fanatic, and she has a bachelor's degree in business administration and management. There are also some special hymns that are sung during these services. Christmas is all about delicious food, shared with your friends, family and loved ones! Dauntless Jaunter started as a world travel blog, but we strive to offer much more than just travel stories. In this post, we will explore some Greek traditions in order for … Eastern Orthodox Christmas. Christmas Eve dinner can be served after the appearance of the first star on the sky, as it heralds the birth of Christ. The majority of Greek Orthodox followers see Christmas as a secondary holiday, and this is reflected in the way that Greek traditions have been somewhat watered down by international festive ideas. That said, such individuals spent many months away from their families and homes often battling treacherous conditions. Hailing from Kyiv, Ukraine, she now lives in Warsaw, Poland, where she is working on her master's degree in strategic management. Well, the customs are many and they vary depending on the region so I'm just going to tell you the ones that are mostly common all over the country. Children … Christmas is one of the major holidays that are celebrated in Greece and amongst people of Greek origin throughout the world. Still others believe this tradition is more rooted in Greek culture. Epiphany is one of the most sacred Greek Orthodox celebrations, rich in many Christian traditions which also date back to ancient times. Traditionally, any type of meat was considered a significant delicacy and privilege. © 2010–2020 Dauntless Jaunter & Pardeaplex, Orthodox Christmas: When It’s Celebrated, History, and Holiday Traditions, Explore • Educate • Experience • Enlighten, Stories: Legends, Mythology, Tales & More, “W” Hour: A Once-Yearly Moment When Warsaw Stops in Remembrance, 5 Things to Do in Kyiv: Top Attractions, Activities, Museums & More (Kiev), Kupala Night: A Magical Slavic Summer Evening (Ivanа-Kupala), 4 Fascinating Tea Traditions from Around the World, 7+ Things to Do in Bulgaria: Best Bulgarian Places to Go & Sites to See, Ramadan 101: Everything to Know About Islam’s Sacred 9th Month. Similarly to a Christmas celebration in other countries, Orthodox Christmas Eve is the time when the whole family gathers to spend time together, eat, and have a good time. Serbian Orthodox Christmas. Other traditional favorites include a variety of cookies, walnut spice cake, and cheese pastries. In the Eucharist, all Orthodox Christians meet together and in absolute agreement, in doctrine and practice witness the presence of the Holy Trinity on the altar of the Church. Here’s a list of 15 most popular Greek New Year customs and traditions: 1. Traditionally, Christmas Eve would be the climax of the Nativity Fast, and thus … It's a round sweet bread which is flavored with cinnamon, orange and cloves. That's why I have collected some of the very best Christmas recipes, from Greek Christmas Cookie recipes, hearty Greek family dinner recipes and many more as passed on to my family for generations, for you to enjoy! Greek Orthodox Christmas. Popular modern customs of the holiday include gift giving; completing an Advent calendar or Advent wreath; Christmas music and caroling; viewing a Nativity play; an exchange of Christmas cards; church services; a special meal; and the display of various Christmas decorations, including Christmas trees, Christmas lights, nativity scenes, garlands, wreaths, mistletoe, and holly. An especially Greek Christmas tradition is the decorating of a karakavi, of a small sea vessel. This is in stark contrast to the US and Western Europe, where it is one of the main holidays of the year for most people regardless of religious affiliation. In Greek Orthodox tradition, sesame baklava is baked on Christmas Eve while Christopsomo is the bread baked on Christmas Day (it means. Carol singing is another tradition on Christmas and New Year's Eve. However, as soon as December arrives, festivities begin: homes are decorated, and the smell of In many instances, these songs are sung by children. Great care is taken when making this Christopsomo bread , and loaves can be simple or elaborate. Even though many countries in Eastern Europe profess the same religion, Christmas traditions differ in all the countries. Given the nation’s proximity to water and its possessing a tropical climate, citizens have typically consumed the famed Mediterranean Diet, comprised primarily of seafood and produce products. The Christmas dates around January 7 may vary among some churches. Because Greek society is so religious -- approximately 98 percent of Greece's population belongs to the Greek Orthodox Church -- many of the culture's traditional celebrations center around sacramental services in the church [source: U.S. State Department].. At birth, eldest children are named after a grandparent, an ancient tradition that ensures the continuation of a … Carols are sung in Ukraine on Christmas Eve and Christmas, called koliadky. … The nation is home to countless islands. Some believe this tradition is traced back to the important Greek Saint Nicholas, the Patron Saint of Sailors. Ο ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΕΝ ΤΩ ΜΕΣΩ ΗΜΩΝ. Whoever gets the coin in their piece is believed will have a lucky and prosperous year. Traditionally on the table should be present twelve lean dishes, for the number of apostles, and only on the 7th of January the fasting ends. Before the revolution, as in the rest of Europe, Christmas was one of the most important holidays, with most people traditionally celebrating it. Spending Christmas in Greece If you will be traveling to Greece at Christmas, it's good to remember that many offices, businesses, restaurants, and other amenities may be closed or keeping unusual hours during the holiday … GREEK CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS AND CUSTOMS How do we celebrate Christmas in Greece? For Orthodox Christians who have adopted the Gregorian calendar, Christmas falls on Dec. 25 as it does for others, and Jan. 6 marks the Epiphany, a Christian holiday that celebrates the revelation of God the son as a human being in Jesus. Like other countries and cultures, Greek people embrace the Christmas season by singing jovial and religious-based carols, also known as “kalanda”. Comments Off on Interesting Greek Christmas Traditions to Know. In many countries of the former Soviet Union, Christmas is considered to be a religious holiday and is celebrated mostly by believers. In 1929, Christmas in the Soviet Union was officially crossed out from the calendar and canceled. The difference in these dates lies in the history of how these dates came about in the first place. The karakavi were created as a way of honoring their service and praying for their safe return. The tradition from Kavala roots to the period of the Ottoman Occupation of Greece. Typically, gifts are opened on New Year’s Day rather than at Christmas, to honour Saint Vasilis, the Greek saint associated with Santa Claus. These hobgoblins (kallikantzari in Greek) are little monsters with bandy legs and arms, hunched backs, large ears, strange eyes and all kinds of deformities. Categorized in: Greek Christmas Traditions, on Interesting Greek Christmas Traditions to Know, Best Greek Dessert Recipes to Eat During Christmas, Recipe for Christopsomo – Greek Christmas Bread, Recipe for Melomacarona (Melamakarona) – Greek Christmas Cookies. In popular Greek tradition, St. Nicholas is identified due to his brine-covered clothes, the filthy seawater that drips off of his lengthy beard and, most important of all, his face that is covered with the sweat built up from his hard work to save the ships from the unruly and turbulent seas. Presents are opened on New Year’s Day Though the primary religion in Cyprus is Greek Orthodox, most people celebrate Christmas on 25 December rather than the traditional Orthodox date in January. Christopsomo (χριστόψωμο, say: hree-STOHP-soh-moh) literally means "Christ's Bread," and is a fixture in Greek Orthodox homes at Christmas. Following the Gregorian calendar, the Greek Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas on 25 December. After the performance is completed, the homeowners often demonstrate their appreciation by rewarding the young people with sweet treats. These implements have countless holes. On 7 January, many Orthodox Copts and other Orthodox Christians (including those in Russia and Ethiopia) celebrate their Christmas Day. They vary from place to place, and in many areas have been updated or watered down to suit modern living. Easter is celebrated all over the mainland and on the islands, it is a family celebration as well as being the most significant time in the Greek Orthodox Church. When Is Greek Orthodox Christmas Orthodox Christmas Traditions. In Bulgaria, Christmas is celebrated on 25th December. She loves to write about travel and education stories in the hopes of learning more for herself at the same time. Christmas in Greece means it's kourabiedes time again, and the mellow aroma of melomakarona cookies will fill Greek kitchens around the globe. For instance, the tradition of the Christmas tree was revived, however, on top of it, instead of the Star of Bethlehem, there was placed a red communist star symbol. All the faithf… Don’t be surprised if in Greece you see a boat decorated with Christmas lights. A delicious collection of traditional Greek Christmas recipes! The only Orthodox churches that still observe the January 7th date are the Russian Orthodox Church, the Ukrainian churches, the Serbs and the Mount Athos monks in Greece. The Armenian Orthodox Church observes Christmas Day on January 6th. In certain Greek regions, especially Crete, the Christmas Hog is still a major custom. The decoration of the boat at Christmas, is part of the huge Greek maritime tradition as Greece, both as a geographical area and as an idea, is inextricably related to the sea. In accordance wit the hog tradition, some type of pork recipe is typically the main course, which is supplemented with side dishes such as stuffed cabbage and Christopsomo bread. The top is decorated with a cross. It is common to celebrate Orthodox Christmas on the 7th of January, with festivities starting on the 6th of January. 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