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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!

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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.

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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.

Why do old village women often wear black? By tradition, Cretan women mourn the loss of one of their parents for three years ...

The family in Crete is understood very broadly: three generations can share the same roof, and the members continue to help each other. Socially, no generational conflict ...

In all the Cretan taverns, we meet regular players of "T avli " (or Backgammon); This is the favorite game of the Cretans. Sometimes they even play for real money.

The Cretans very often wear a mustache. It is a traditional sign of virility.

Traditional music in Crete is not to be considered as folk music. On the contrary, it is part of everyday life, and is more easily played and danced by these gentlemen. Nikos XILOURIS is a well-known Cretan singer and nicknamed "the Cretan Archangel". He died very young from cancer, and the Cretans made him their muse .