Seeing as Christmas is just around the corner, (there’s no denying it anymore!) we thought we would have a look at how the Cretans celebrate the holiday period.
With the average December temperature reaching between 14°C and 17°C, it’s difficult to see how Christmas in Crete can be similar to ours back here in chilly Britain. However, Christmas is one of the most important festivals in Crete, alongside Easter.
Crete is largely recognised as Greek Orthodox, so religious festivals hold particular importance on this beautiful island.
Unlike the Christmas period in Britain, Cretans are not bombarded by constant carollers for the weeks leading up to the big day. Traditionally, Christmas carols, or The Kalanda, are reserved for three days, Christmas Eve, New Years Eve and The Eve of Epiphany (January 5th). There are three different songs for each day, which are sung by children who go around houses, serenading their dwellers.
As the patron Saint of Greece and sailors, Saint Nicholas is widely celebrated on December 6th. Historically, Cretans would celebrate St Nicholas Day by exchanging gifts and decorating boats. Although this practise is not widely practised anymore, you will still be able to find decorated boats in some areas alongside Christmas trees.
Christmas Day is usually quite a quiet affair in Greece, with most families attending church services and enjoying a relaxed day with their nearest and dearest. Traditionally, Cretans don’t exchange presents on Christmas Day, but wait until New Years Day, which is also St Vassilis Day, who is also known as Father Christmas in Crete.
Don’t miss out on enjoying a warm Christmas in Crete, get booking now! Here at Pure Crete, we offer beautiful holidays in Crete, and we are dedicated to ensuring you the experience (or Christmas) of a lifetime. If you would love to enjoy a Cretan Christmas, contact us on 01444 880 404 or email us at email@example.com.