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How Does Greece Celebrate New Years

New Year’s is one of the biggest celebrations, and every country has a unique spin on what they focus on. Greece is no exception, with the government having a range of religious and cultural celebrations for this special day. Many countries celebrate New Year with something grand like fireworks; they will likely have some unique cultural celebrations. In Greece’s case, these include:


Dish Cake:

A prominent tradition at the start of the new year is a family cutting the Vasilopita as soon as the clock strikes 12. Christian households will separate the first slice of the cake for Christ and then distribute the rest to other family members. Families will also bake a trinket into the cake, giving good fortune to anyone who finds it in their slice. 


Onion Hanging: 

Many New Year’s celebrations in Greece focus on good fortune, including hanging onions inside the house. Following the New Year church service, families will turn an onion inside their homes to ensure good fortune for everyone. Onions have long represented rebirth, fertility, and good luck, so even some non-religious people will hang an onion or two in their homes during New Year’s.


Set off Fireworks: 

This is done throughout the world when New Year’s comes. It is traditional in many cultures to use fireworks. Many prominent localities are inhabited by Greeks every year. This means a lively party scene, and people gather to have fun. During this magical holiday, many Greeks go on a night out, partying with friends and exchanging gifts.


Smashing the pomegranate: 

Pomegranates represent regeneration and renewal in Greek culture, so it’s a local tradition to smash the pomegranate at the start of the new year. Families will leave a pomegranate hanging outside their homes for the entire winter. When the clock finally strikes 12, families will leave their homes and choose one lucky person to enter the home. The chosen person will step into the house with their right foot and smash the pomegranate against the front door. The more seeds that spill, the more good luck the family will have. 


Decoration With Leaves: 

Wall decorations in Greek homes during this period often featured bay leaves. Those are symbols of good health, fertility, nutrition, wisdom, and strength. These leaves hang on the sides of houses to protect families from evil spirits and bad luck. 

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