Greek Traditions for New Year Good Luck
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Every culture has its own unique set of traditions, and Greece is not an exception. In Greece, people adhere to traditions in the New Year that they feel will bring them luck. There are those who believe that the actions that are taken on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day set the tone for the rest of the year, which is why luck is so important. Here’s more information about what Greeks do in order to bring them luck for the New Year:
According to the Greek mythology, New Year is one of the most auspicious times ever, and it is customary to participate in customs and beliefs that bring prosperity and good luck in the following year. One of the most popular customs here is to play cards. Several games are arranged in local clubs, delis, pubs and bars. These sessions are also organized in many homes throughout the country. The State lottery too is played with added enthusiasm as it is likely to raise millions of extra dollars on the New Year’s Day. People wait throughout the year to participate in these lively card playing sessions.
Kalo Podariko – First Footing
Kalo Podariko is a common Greek tradition which is celebrated when New Year just sets in. It is widely believed that the first individual, who sets his foot inside a home during the New Year, decides the type of luck that household will be likely to experience in the coming days. It is encouraged to choose such a person for the first footing who is innocent, kind and has a loving heart. Children are often chosen as the first footers as their innocent and loving hearts are said to bring good luck. Right after the first person sets his foot, the rest of the family members follow. Putting your right foot forward is considered to be lucky.
Stepping on Mossy Stones
Stepping on mossy stones is another widely followed custom that is said to make the coming year prosperous and happy. Due to this reason, most of the Greek people collect the mossy stones from the nearby water bodies like the rivers, ponds and lakes while placing them in the threshold of their homes right before the New Year. Stepping on this mossy stone is said to bring a lot of good luck for the following year.
Feasting with an Extra Place
In Greece people eat a lavish New Year’s feast that involves the whole family – plus one extra place. Why is there an empty place at the table? Because families leave a place for Saint Basil, or Agios Vasilios, who has a legacy of helping the poor. Greeks believe that this will also bring them luck. On a side note, Agios Vasilios is also the Greek equivalent of Santa Clause. However, instead of him coming with gifts at Christmas, he actually comes on New Year’s Eve.
In Greece, people believe that these customs will bring them luck. Try them and look forward to a happy and prosperous New Year!
Categorized in: Greek New Year Traditions
This post was written by Greek Boston