christmas symbols in greece

For my Christmas card to you I wanted to share a few holiday images you’d find in Greece if you were to travel here during the Christmas holiday.

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This is picture of the karagiozis (Καραγκιόζης). He is a character from Greek folklore. You’ll find this traditional shadow puppet being sold as a souvenir. As you can see, he enjoys donning the Santa costume this time of the year.

greek puppets

This is the lighted Christmas boat or karavaki. This one is put up in the Syntagma Square, in front of parliament, right in the heart of Athens each year.

karavaki athens

The karavaki is the symbol of Christmas in Greece. After all Greece is country that has a rich tradition of seafaring and a deep appreciation for its seas.

This is a Christmas tsoureki. Tsoureki is actually a traditional sweet bread baked during Easter. However, I love how this one is so creatively made with snowy looking frosting and a Santa guy just for Christmas. Secondly, tsoureki happens to be one of my favorite sweets — any time of year — so here it goes in my Christmas greetings card.

tsoureki christmas

Sitting on Santa’s belly are a pile of melomakarona which are delicious honey dipped cookies. You’ll often find the powdered kourabiedes piled up on a plate not to far away. They are a type of shortbread almond cookie.


greek christmas cookies

Finally, here’s a picture of a glass blown gouri.   What is a gouri?  It is a collection of good luck symbols that are creatively tied together to be hung or displayed around the home. You’ll find keys, horseshoes, matia (eyes), karavakia and more hanging from string, wire or leather. There are so many ways to create gouria and I love seeing how local artists come up with new ideas to create this traditional trinket during Christmas time.


I am looking forward to sharing more of “my Greece” and my travels with you in 2015.

xmas in greece collage

Thanks for following me and for being part of my travel writer journey!



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