Greek Christmas is a Religious Holiday

Christmas is a religious holiday and one for feasting after weeks of fasting.  On Christmas Eve, children go through the village knocking on doors and singing the Kalanda, proclaiming the birth of Christ.   The children accompany their singing with the banging on on small metal triangles.

On Christmas Day there is a feast which includes sweet breads and special cookies, and for these, precious white flour and sugar are used.  The housewives, having kept sprigs of the Greek small-leaved basil alive in a bowl of water, wrap a sprig around a small wooden cross, dip the leaves in the water, and sprinkle it about the rooms to keep the mischievous goblins away from the house.

Description from”Christmas Crafts and Custom Around the World” by Virginie Fowler.