Christopsomo: Christ-bread

Christopsomo: Christ-bread

An old Greek tradition, this bread is baked on Christmas Eve and eaten on Christmas Day. Baking this bread bestows a great blessing upon the family. The bread’s design The dough is divided into two pieces. The first portion, the largest, forms the main base. Using the second portion, the...

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Assurè, Noah’s Pudding

Assurè, Noah’s Pudding

For the Greek Christians of Asia Minor, Assurè (Grk: Assurè / Arb: Ashure) was made on Christmas Eve as an offering to Christ and Panagia. These refugees brought Assurè to Northern and Central Greece. For Cretans, the Assurè became a dessert in the cities with no religious significance.   Assurè: Turkish Version...

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Craciunel

Craciunel

Craciunels are braided breads with knots made to celebrate Christmas. They are given to family and friends, symbolising the spirit of giving at Christmas. When children go door-to-door caroling on Christmas Eve, they are rewarded with fresh Craciunels as well as nuts, dried fruit, and money. The carolers carry a...

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December 6th Onward: Karavaki – Christmas Boats

December 6th Onward: Karavaki – Christmas Boats

As St Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors and the Greek navy – as well as students, merchants, pawnbrokers, and children – an old custom which originated from the Greek islands is the Karavaki, little boats. From 6th December (the saint’s feastday) onwards, families decorate small model boats/ships with...

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December 6: Saint Nicholas Traditions

December 6: Saint Nicholas Traditions

During the Advent period, a great saint of the Church is celebrated – Saint Nicholas. Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors, and he is commemorated on 6th December (19th December, Old Calendar). He is also the patron saint of Greece, and the patron saint for students, merchants, pawnbrokers,...

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Nativity Fast: Pettuli – Greek

Nativity Fast: Pettuli – Greek

From the region of Taranto, Greece, these golden fried pieces of dough are traditionally eaten during the fasting-Christmas period. The folklore is they were given by the infant Christ to the poor – this tale acts as a “prequel” to Christ’s adult miracle of the five loaves. It represents Christ...

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December 4: Saint Barbara’s Feast – Greek

December 4: Saint Barbara’s Feast – Greek

Celebrated on December 4th, Saint Barbara is the patron saint of artillerymen, firemen, and those engaged in hazardous occupations. According to Greek tradition, Loukoumades are made on her feastday. On army bases, they are offered to soldiers and visitors supposedly because they resemble cannonballs. Saint Barbara is also the patron...

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December 4: Feast of Saint Barbara – Syrian, Lebanese, Jordanian, Palestinian

December 4: Feast of Saint Barbara – Syrian, Lebanese, Jordanian, Palestinian

Saint Barbara’s day, or Eid il-Burbara, is celebrated in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine. The traditional food served on St Barbara’s feastday is Burbara, a sweet made of boiled wheat, grains, and fruit. Another traditional dish is Atayef, stuffed pancakes filled with nuts. On this feastday, children dress up in...

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November 30: Saint Andrew and Loukoumades

November 30: Saint Andrew and Loukoumades

St Andrew is celebrated on November 30th. On the Greek islands of Rhodes, Kalymnos and Kos, it’s customary to make Loukoumades or Tiganites to honour the Saint. There’s even a unique blessing custom among the local women. Before frying the Loukoumades, the cook will dip her finger in the oil and...

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