Five Christmas Traditions Unique to Greece

"Five Christmas Tradition Unique to Greece" authored by Gabi Ancarola and published by the on December 24, 2017

In current days and mostly in big cities, Christmas in Greece very much resembles the holiday celebrations from other areas in the world. Massive travel, easy access to worldwide media, and globalization have standardized and spread many traditions from the Occidental world. On top of the list, it’s Christmas.

It’s easier to see artificial lights and decorations rather than candles; Christmas trees over the Greek boat or karavaki, and massive references to Santa in shops and on TV. However, some traditions are unique to the local Christmas experience, let’s take a look at some of them.


According to the Greek version of the universal myth of evil spirits, our world connects to the underworld through a tree. The evil spirits, or kallikantzaroi, spend their year beneath that tree, sawing their way into the outer world. They manage to succeed during the Twelve days Christmas, a period stretching from December 25 to January 6.

During this time, the kallikantzaroi rise to our world because Christ, not being yet baptized, cannot protect humanity from evil. When households are not ready to protect themselves, the evil spirits wander freely in and out bringing distress and frustration. People keep them away burning logs, incense, and even old shoes.

Feeding the Fountain

This quirky tradition is to be found in different corners of mainland Greece. During the twelve days of Christmas, the young women of the village carry empty pitchers to nearby fountains and fill them with water. However, they are requested to walk towards the fountain in complete silence.

These women reach the fountain carrying with them butter, cereals, or honey to please the fountain. The first woman who gets to the fountain is blessed with lots of good luck for the rest of the year.

READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE to learn about "Keeping the Fire Alive", "Skeletoura", and "Agios Vasilis".  -