Last update01:19:34 PM

Back You are here: Home Lifestyle Home & Garden New Year in Greece

New Year in Greece

January 1st is a day we all know as New Year's Day. In Greece it is also known as St.Basil's day, which is why it is custom to serve St.Basil or New Year cake, also known as Vassilopita. There are many traditions and beliefs reguarding New Year and it is a day that is spent with families and friends. New Year's Day in Greece is very entertaining and much of the day is spent playing games and gambling.

New Year's Eve
The Christmas period starts from the 12th December in Greece and lasts until the 6th January. During this time, there are many parties and gatherings, though not all are so commercialised as in other countries. The bars and clubs gain much more customers during this busy time of year and families and friends often gather together to celebrate the festivities.


Kali Hera
It is custom to give gifts to one another on New Year's Day, especially to children. This is known as Kali Hera. These presents are usually money, sweets and cakes or another small gift. These gifts are usually only given to close young friends and family members, such as your children, grandchildren or nieces or nephews. In Greece, it is traditional to exchange gifts with all your friends and family on New Year instead of Christmas.

Let's Eat Cake...
Throughout the day, many households may bake a cake, known as Vassilopita. Vassilopita is the official New Year's cake and is given to friends, family and any other visitors that may visit you during the day. The cake usually has a gold coin that has been put inside, which is a sign of luck. When the cake has been cut and the people start to eat the cake, whoever has the slice with the coin in, is thought to have been blessed with extra luck and good fortune for the Year.

Podariko is the name of the first foot over the door belief. As soon as the New Year arrives, it is very important to observe who is the first person to enter your home after this. It is believed that it is most lucky for a child to be the first in the New Year to enter your home, as it is considered lucky. The child should also bring a sea onion or Skylokremmyda plant, which they should leave on your doorstep and step in to your home, with their right foot first. As a reward for blessing the family with look, the child is then given a small gift or money.

The Christmas and New Year period is usually spent playing games and gambling. The betting sums are never usually high amounts of money and are kept at low sums. The major night for gambling is New Year's Eve, this is considered to be the main gambling night of the year.