Greek Christmas Traditions

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Christmas in Greece brings in the time to bake Melomakarona cookies also known as Christmas Cookies. It is a traditional Greek recipe that mixes the flavor of orange, cinnamon and cloves. Pork is the most popular ingredient in most traditional Greek Christmas meals. Turkey is also popular in many families in Greece during the Chistmas season. Egg and Lemon-chicken soup is the first dish to be served during the Christmas Midnight meal. In the northern part of Greece, Christmas is not complete without stuffed cabbage or Yiaprakia. For Greek children, they are given sweet treats during the Christmas Season such as sesame Baklava, Karythopita cakes and Kourabiethes cookies

The Christmas Season in Greece usually starts on December 6, the Feast of St. Nicolas. During the feast, children and adults will give or exchange gifts to each other. The Feast of Epiphany on January 6 is the last day of the Christmas Season in Greece.

Most Christmas Traditions in Greece are still intact, and away from noisy celebrations like in America and other countries in Europe. During Christmas, Greek children would sing Traditional Greek Christmas Carols called Kalandas. Most restaurants, stores and other shops are also closed during Christmas Day.

Some Greeks still believes in Christmas Elves or Kallikantrazi. These Christmas elves are thought to be mischievous and do there worst during the 12 Days of Christmas starting on December 25 to January 6. To keep the Kallinkantrazi away, Greek families burn their version of the Christmas Log or the Yule Log.  Hyssop, thistle and asparagus are suspended in the fireplace to keep the naughty elves away. Basil, considered as a holy herb is suspended on top of a water vessel. In the Feast of the Epiphany, the blessing of the holy water is said to drive away these elves, only to return the next Christmas Season.


 


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