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What are the customs for celebrating Christmas in Greece ?

It is customary, for Christmas in Greece, to decorate village squares, his house, his garden, his table, with a boat, the Greek national emblem, rather than a tree. The boat was once a way to symbolize the return of the father, long gone to sea. The boys stroll through the streets singing Kalendas, holding a boat in their arms and marking the tempo with a triangle.

December 24 marks the end of a fast, and the Christmas meal will be very generous. The Greeks are very religious and observant: they all attend Christmas mass on December 24 and eat dried fruits on their return. It is during the meal of December 24 that we will share Christopsomo : the bread of Christ.

They hang Basilisk over their doors to keep evil spirits away. It is only on January 1st that the children will receive their gifts, deposited by Saint Basile. We will then taste the Vassilopita , in which we will have taken care to hide a room. This custom refers to the story of Saint Basil, who, to save his disciples from famine, hid coins in loaves that he distributed.

It is on the day of Epiphany that the Pope will bless the sea, will throw a cross that the faithful will bring back after having plunged into cold water ... In order to prove their courage. This victory will bring good luck all year round to the diver and his family.

Finally, don't forget to throw a pomegranate (the fruit!) In front of your door on December 31 ... This fertility symbol will bring you prosperity all year round!

On December 1, 1913, Crete was officially attached to the Greek state. It is the end of an exhausting struggle and many deadly fights (against the Venetians (450 years of occupation) then against the Ottomans, to whom they never bowed). It was in Chania that this reunion was celebrated, in the presence of King Constantine and Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos. At exactly 11:50 a.m., 94-year-old Anagnostis Mandakas and 88-year-old Hadjimichalis Yiannaris raised the Greek flag over the Firkas fortress, as 101 cannon shots were fired.

Alexander the Great was the first Greek to have his face reproduced on coins. Only gods and goddesses were represented before this.

The month of May owes its name to the Greek goddess Maïa, a pleiad, daughter of Atlas, mother of Hermes.

The Greeks are the third largest olive producers in the world. They have always cultivated olive trees and some olive trees, dating from the 13th century, still produce olives!

Some Greek expressions that will make you smile ... But which are very real!

Crete is located just 250 km from the coast of North Africa!

The Komboloi is a small rosary that the Cretans hold in their hands, in all circumstances… they patiently scratch each piece, turn it with energy; this rosary no longer has any religious significance: in turn anti-stress, game, pastime, it is often transformed by craftsmen into wall decoration object, wooden, glass or colored crystal jewel.

Pourquoi les vieilles villageoises portent elles souvent le noir ? Par tradition, les crétoises portent le deuil de l’un de leur parent pendant trois ans …

La famille en Crète s’entend au sens très large : trois générations peuvent partager le même toit, et les membres continuent de s’entraider. Socialement, aucun conflit de génération…

Dans toutes les tavernes crétoises, on reencontre des joueurs assidus de «Tavli» (ou Backgammon) ; Il s’agit du jeu préféré des crétois. Ils jouent même parfois pour de l’argent.

Les crétois portent très souvent la moustache. Il s’agit d’un traditionnel signe de virilité.

La musique traditionnelle en Crète n’est pas à considérer comme de la musique folklorique. Bien au contraire, elle fait partie du quotidien, et est plus facilement jouée et dansée par ces messieurs. Nikos XILOURIS est un chanteur crétois très connu et surnommé « l’archange crétois ». Il est décédé très jeune d’un cancer, et les crétois en ont fait leur égérie.

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Crète, Terre d'Origines