While Greek Christmas traditions may go by foreign names and involve some different recipes than we’re used to, they aren’t all that different from how many families celebrate in the United States and other parts of the world. This year, you can honor generations of Greek tradition by adding these activities all the way from the Mediterranean to your family’s holiday season.
Enjoy Plenty of Sweet Treats
Christmas cookies, gingerbread houses, pies–you name it, desserts are an integral part of how we celebrate the holidays in the United States. The same goes for Greece, but their baked goods sound and taste a lot different than ours.
Give some classic Greek desserts, such as melomakarona, baklava, kourabiedes, vasilopita, and mamounia, a try this year. Whether you choose to make them yourself or find them from your favorite local Greek establishment, you won’t regret giving these tasty Mediterranean treats a try.
Exchange Gifts on January 1
In Greece, it is traditional to open gifts on New Year’s Day, which they celebrate as St. Basil Day. It may be challenging to convince your loved ones to hold off until January 1 to open gifts, but maybe set aside one gift for each family member to open a week after Christmas Day. It will give everyone something to look forward to and extend the holiday even longer.
Decorate Christmas Boats
Since much of Greece is surrounded by the sea, boats are a huge part of both the Greek economy and culture. Historically, many men would spend much of their time away from their families working on boats. The women and children would decorate Christmas boats to welcome the sailors back home for the holidays, a tradition that is still popular today.
Celebrate with Music
Holiday songs are a relatively universal tradition, but the Greeks add a fun twist to it. Similar to caroling, children in Greece are known to sing songs for their neighbors, who then thank them with small tokens of their appreciation. It’s kind of like Halloween and Christmas mixed into one!
While your neighbors may not be prepared with candy or coins for your children to sing to them, you can still try this fun tradition with family and friends. It’s up to you whether or not you choose to sing classic Christmas tunes or give some Greek melodies a try.
Visit Yoleni’s of Providence For an Authentic Greek Meal and Marketplace
Even if you and your family have plenty of holiday traditions, there’s always room for more! Why not make Yoleni’s of Providence your family’s new holiday restaurant destination? Our authentic Greek menu offers cuisines for all tastes and desires. Not to mention a full Greek marketplace housing rare and unique Greek ingredients and accessories, perfect for holiday shopping!