• We use the pomegranate today at the time of the changing of the year. When the New Year comes, the landlady of the house breaks the pomegranate at the front door of the house and thats why the pomegranate symbolizes abundance and fertility.
Also the color of pomegranate, which is red,was believed to bring good luck.Family goes to church to welcome the NewYear. The landlord keeps in his pocket apomegranate for the priest to bless it.
• The Christmas wreath has got cones, mistletoe and a big red bow. It decorates our houses. Also, it has got many flowers, leaves and fruits. Many years ago the people gave presents to one another and decorated their houses with mistletoe too.
• Some people think that wreath brings happiness in the New Year that is coming. The wreath decorates the house both inside and outside too. It is put above fireplace. It reminds people the true meaning of Christmas.
• The “ feeding of the tap” is a custom that is done in many parts of Greece. In central Greece the girls go to get the “silent water” at dawn.• Before that, they left cooked butter, cheese, wheat or olive branches near the tap..
• Then they return home without speaking until they drink all the water of the tap.• In Grevena(a mountainous town) they light a large log until epiphany to protect themselves from bad spirits.
• On 1st December we decorate the tree and our house. We send Christmas cards to our friends. On Christmas Eve the children go to the houses in the area and sing the Christmas carols. On Christmas Day we eat turkey with rice and salads. Also on New Years Eve we eat vasilopita.
• The decoration of Christmas tree has its roots in the old traditions. As the Christmas balls symbolizes the apple of Adam and Eve, or the lights symbolizing the triumph of the Christmas celebration .
• . The decoration of Christmas tree is a family event that celebrates the beautiful fir filling the atmosphere with Love.
• The lights of Christmas is a traditional custom that symbolizes life and the warmth of winter.
• Also the lights placed in the streets, the balconies of houses, in restaurants, in shop windows to brighten and in the classes of school.
• The Greek Christmas ship is an old tradition of our country. It was a kind of welcome to the sailors who came back home. Fifty years ago Christmas ships there were in a lot of Greek houses.
• Also the children held Christmas ships while they were singing the carols. In Chios (a Greek island) every New Year’s Day there is a competition with Christmas ships. Every neighborhood makes a big ship, about 5,5 meters long and the best one wins a prize.
• The history of Vasilopita (a Christmas cake) is old tradition which originate in Kesaria of Kappadokia. On New Year’s Eve the Greek people make a cake and put in it a coin. At midnight they cut the cake and each one take a piece. They believe that the person who finds the coin is lucky all year.
The children put near the fireplace for Santa Claus toput in toys, sweets, fruits and money. Tradition says thatchildren who are naughty get a piece of coal. Lots offamilies make stockings and write on it their names.
• In Greece scilla Maritina( onion) is put out of house on New Year’s Eve. On New Year’s Day father or mother take the scilla Maritina on his or her hands and get up the children to go to church.• After the scilla Maritina puts on one place in house.
• People believe that a lucky person has to be the first to go in their house, so they have a boy when the family has one to have a good New Year. They prefer boy when the family has a lot of girls and they prefer kids because they are innocent.• When he gets in the house with his right foot, he has to step on something iron to be strong. In the rural areas, this custom has to do with good crop. In some villages the lucky person throws rice to make good spirits stay there.
• In many different places in Greece the person who lives in the house is usually the first one to walk inside the house.