Christmas Traditions to Experience in Greece

There’s nothing more magical than spending a beautiful Christmas vacation in Greece. Not only is Greece filled with history, natural beauty, and wonderful people, but it’s a wonderful family-friendly holiday destination visited by millions of tourists every year.

If you’re thinking about spending your Christmas holiday in Greece, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn more about some of the most popular Christmas activities and traditions you’re sure to enjoy while visiting Greece. Here’s more information:

Beautiful and Unique Greek Christmas Caroling

Because Greece is predominantly a Christian country, Christmas is one of the most celebrated holidays of the year. There are many unique and beautiful Christmas traditions that Greeks take part in throughout the festive holiday season. Caroling (also referred to as “kalanta”) plays a huge part during the days of advent leading up to Christmas Eve.

It’s not uncommon to see many groups of lively carolers walking throughout the neighborhoods to spread joy, music, and Christmas cheer. Be sure to keep a few coins and candies on hand to give away if you find carolers at your doorstep during your vacation!

Take a Look at the Wooden Boats

As you take in the sights and sounds of the season, you may notice wooden boats which have been painted or festively decorated with bright Christmas lights. This Greek tradition dates back to hundreds of years ago when many Greek men worked on fishing boats. Upon their homecoming, their families would decorate small wooden boats as a token of appreciation for their safe return.

The sea has played a central role in the prosperity that this nation has enjoyed for hundreds of years. Nowadays, Christmas boats have become a pivotal part of Christmas traditions in Greece. Families who own boats will go to great lengths to decorate them with lights, tinsel, and other festive decorations.

Beware the Mischievous and Clever Kallikantzari

While walking through the streets you may hear children wondering when the mischievous “kallikantzari” will appear. According to tradition, the kallikantzari awake from beneath cobblestone paths to play tricks and cause commotion within the town during the two weeks leading up to Christmas day. The only way to rid the town of the kallikantzari is to have a priest bless each house with incense and holy water on January 6th, otherwise known as the day of the Epiphany.

Christmas Pomegranates for Prosperity

Are you wondering why you’re seeing so many pomegranates hanging on people’s doorways and displayed as Christmas decorations? In Greece, pomegranates are an important symbol of prosperity. After Christmas has come and gone, the head of each household removes the pomegranates until New Year’s Eve. That night, the pomegranate is smashed on the porch to ring in good luck and fortune for the new year.

Greece is a remarkably charming place to visit during Christmastime. By spending your holiday in this beautiful European country, you’re bound to have the trip of a lifetime by building wonderful memories with your loved ones.