Vocabulary

Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Greece Series at GreekPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Greek holidays and observances. I’m Michael, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 2- Christmas. In Greek, it's called [Χριστούγεννα].
Christmas is one of the most cherished holidays in Greece. It is celebrated on December 25 in honor of the birth of Jesus Christ, who is called [Ιησούς Χριστός] in Greek. Each region has its own unique customs during Christmas time in Greece.
In this lesson, we will learn some of the most well-known traditions observed during Christmas time.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
What is the main difference between Christmas in Greece and Christmas in the rest of the western world?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
The Christmas atmosphere starts early in Greece, around the beginning of December, when shops and streets start hanging Christmas decorations.
Christmas trees, or [χριστουγεννιάτικα δέντρα], become popular items of purchase around this time. Many people—often islanders—decorate the "Christmas ship" or in Greek [χριστουγεννιάτικο καράβι] as part of the Greek Christmas tradition rather than decorating a tree, which is an adopted custom from abroad. This tradition is related to Greece’s strong association with the sea. The holiday decorations would not be complete without the manger or [φάτνη], representing the stable where Christ was born.
On Christmas Eve or in Greek [παραμονή Χριστουγέννων], children pour out into the streets starting early in the morning to sing Christmas carols, or [κάλαντα Χριστουγέννων]. Grown-ups prepare for the Christmas dinner party, called [ρεβεγιόν Χριστουγέννων] in Greek, that follows later in the evening. The housewives knead the Christmas bread and prepare the table. Pork, or [χοιρινό], is the most popular food eaten at these parties, along with sugar-coated biscuits and honey biscuits. In recent years, however, many eat turkey or [γαλοπούλα] instead. During dinner, people usually listen to well-known Christmas melodies, tying the whole experience together to create the comforting feeling of family warmth and holiday bonding.
A purely Christian custom is the "Christmas bread," or [χριστόψωμο], which is cut on Christmas day. The Christmas bread is made from ingredients such as finely sifted flour, rosewater, honey, sesame, cinnamon, and cloves. A cross made from strips of dough is placed on top of the bread, while an unshelled walnut is placed in the center as a symbol of fertility. Other popular Christmas customs include the "feeding of the tap", which is called [τάισμα της βρύσης] and is popular primarily in mainland Greece, and the continuous lighting of fire for protection against goblins.
According to popular belief, the goblins, or [καλικάντζαροι], are demons that live in the depths of the earth. On Christmas Eve, they come up to the surface of the earth to tease people, and stay until Epiphany Day.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
What is the main difference between Christmas in Greece and Christmas in the rest of the western world?
In Greece, instead of coming on Christmas Day, Santa Claus comes on New Year's, also known as St. Basil’s Day in Greece! Godparents and relatives still give gifts to children on Christmas, so they can't complain!
How did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Is Christmas celebrated in your country? And if so, how?
Leave us your comments on GreekPod101.com, and we'll see you in the next lesson.

3 Comments

Hide
Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

GreekPod101.com
Monday at 6:30 pm
Pinned Comment
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Is Christmas celebrated in your country? And if so, how?

Team Greekpod101.com
Thursday at 5:56 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Elisabeth,


Thank you for leaving the comment!


Hope to see you often here ! :)


Sincerely,

Cristiane

Team Greekpod101.com

Elisabeth
Thursday at 5:31 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

In Norway, the main celebration day is the 24th, Christmas Eve ?