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Discovering Greece

Arianna Sanchez, Business and Marketing Team

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Word: Christmas

Translation: Χριστούγεννα (pronounced Christ-oh-yeh-nah)

Whether it be the food or the trees, Greece does things slightly different from when it comes to Christmas in America.

Christmas in the United States and Χριστούγεννα in Greece is different in many way. Greece is more traditional, and those who live there like to stick with old traditions. In comparison, Americans tend to do new things rather sticking to their roots. Due to the fact that Greece’s main religion is Orthodox Christianity, Christmas is a very religious holiday.

Vasilis: people might not be familiar with this name if you’re not from Greece, but this is Greece’s Version of Santa. On the night of Christmas Eve, he brings small gifts to the children of Greece.

In Greece, it is very common for children to go Christmas caroling on the mornings of Christmas Eve, New Years Eve, and January 5 (the eve of the Epiphany). If they sing well enough, they will receive money, candy, nuts, and dried figs. Along with the singing, they play drums and triangles.

Presents in Greece are more commonly gifted on New Years Eve, rather than actual Christmas Day because more traditional Greeks believe Christmas Day is about celebrating the bitch of Christ. Not just giving gifts.

Boats and trees are very common to see in Greece together around Christmas Time. When the first known Christmas tree was put up in Greece in 1833 by King Otto,  it was set up right next to a boat. Because of this, it is very common for people to decorate both trees and wooden boats. However, in more recent times, it is becoming unpopular to decorate boats because of modernization.

A usual Christmas meal in Greece includes lamb or pork, spinach, and cheese pie. This is most likely paired with a table center bread piece called Christopsomo, or “Christ’s bread.”

As you can tell, we celebrate things in some same and some different ways. But, it’s always good to know what’s going on in different parts of the world.

About the Writer
Arianna Sanchez, Business and Marketing Team Member

Arianna Sanchez is a politically active sophomore with a passion for historic preservation. If she's not serving on one of the two councils she's on, you...

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