Holiday: December 25
🎅 Christmas in Greece honors the birth of Christ in a manger in Bethlehem and starts on Christmas eve with carols, Kalanda. Continuing for 14 days with singing on New Year’s eve and Epiphany eve morning, children visit homes in their villages bringing wishes of prosperity and luck to their neighbors and receiving small amounts of money in return. Christmas is a time for midnight mass, traditional meals of pork or lamb roasted on an open spit, with Spanakopita (spinach pie) and Tiropita (cheese pie) to round out the feast.
Homes are decorated with Christmas trees, lights, and nativity scenes. Gifts are are given on New Year's Day in honor of Saint Basil, who was a generous Greek bishop. Traditional sweets of Melomakarona, Kourabiedes, and Diples are enjoyed while Vasilopita (Saint Basil's cake) is served at midnight on New Year’s eve. Whomever finds the coin in their piece of this cake is granted good luck for the year!