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Christmas carols (Kalanta)
Happy religious songs, usually sung at Christmas.

kalanta carols in AthensChristmas carols is a beloved, widespread custom among children all over Greece. Traditionally children are caroling on 3 different days during Christmas holidays. On December the 24th for Christmas, December the 31st for the New Year and January 5th for Epiphany.

Children walk along the city’s streets beating small metallic triangles, entering in stores or knocking on people's doors, asking if they are allowed to sing the carols. Don’t be surprised if you meet really young children losing the lyrics, accompanied by older ones, or really talented children carrying guitars, accordions or harmonicas. In Greek the question is: “Na ta poume?” and people are usually expected to say Yes “Natapite!” and so it begins. Caroling starts early in the morning and finishes in early afternoon.

Having the carols sung at a greek house is considered a blessing, so, if you decide you want to experience this custom and eventually open your door, you will be expected to give the carol singers a small amount of money (around 1 to 2 euros should be enough).
Please keep in mind that this short procedure should take place outside the doorstep and for no reason inside the flat.
Happy Holidays!

Published in The Greek way
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EpiphanyPeiraikiOn Jan. 6th  during the Theofania (also Epiphany or Fota) celebration takes place across Greece while the Greek Orthodox Church performs

 the “Great Blessing of the Waters”.


The ceremony is performed once on the eve of Epiphany in the church, and then again on the actual day outdoors with priests blessing large bodies of water, sea, rivers, lakes and of the vessels that ply them .
In all Greek coastal cities and villages the priests bless the waters with the Holy Cross, while many brave swimmers jump into the icy waters despite the cold weather to catch the Cross and get the priest’s blessing for the year.
The tradition wants the young man that catches the Cross will have extra good luck and blessing for the year to come. As the cross is victoriously brought back, the priest releases a white dove, as a symbol of the holy spirit.
This religious celebration commemorates the baptism of Jesus Christ by John the Baptist, according to the Orthodox Church, and the banishing of the mischievous Kalikantzaroi (goblins) back to the hollow earth for another year round, according to popular belief.

Οne of the main traditions of the Epiphany holiday is the Kalanda (carols) sung by children on Epiphany’s Eve taking the message of Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River from house to house over sweets or a small amount of money.

So, do not be surprised if you hear the door bell ringing on the 5th of January morning...

Published in The Greek way
Are you interested in shopping?
Here is a complete guide to Christmas opening hours of stores, in Athens.
ErmouXmas

Enjoy Christmas lights and festive shop windows! Ermou street the major of Athens’ shopping districts is just 50 meters away from your “Athens flat” home. Even if you don’t intend to do any serious shopping it is worth to walk along, as there are a lot of events and happenings taking place especially near the old church of Kapnikarea. (500m, down to Ermou, towards Monastiraki). However be well aware of your personal belongings when walking in the crowd, as abstract people are always pickpockets’ best choice!

Christmas special shopping hours will begin on Thursday, December 13th 2018!
Holiday shop hours in Athens outlined below.
Thursday 13/12/2018 from 9.00 to 21.00
Friday 14/12/2018 from 9.00 to 21.00
Saturday 15/12/2018 from 9.00 to 18.00
Sunday 16/12/2018 από 11.00 – 18.00
Monday 17/12/2018 to Friday 21/12/2017 from 9.00 to 21.00
Saturday 22/12/2018 from 9.00 to 18.00
Sunday 23/12/2018 from 11.00 to 18.00
Monday 24/12/2018 – 09:00-18:00 (Christmas Eve)
Tuesday 25/12/2018 Christmas National holiday – shops are closed
Wednesday 26/12/2018 to Friday 28/12/2018 from 9.00 to 21.00
Saturday 29/12/2018 from 9.00 to 18.00
Sunday 30/12/2018 from 11.00 to 18.00
Monday 31/12/2018 from 09:00 to17:00 (New Year’s Eve)
Tuesday / New year’s day 1/1/2019 National holiday – shops are closed
Wednesday 2/1/2019 most of the shops will be closed.

From Thursday, January 3rd, all shops will return to their regular winter working hours.
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Music at the Acropolis Museum [ 23 & 30 December 2018 ]

On Sunday 23 December, at 12 noon, the Acropolis Museum will host the ‘Chronos’ music ensemble of the Athens State Orchestra for a music concert at the Museum ground floor, including carols and traditional Christmas world renowned melodies.
On Sunday 30 December, at 12 noon, the Acropolis Museum will host the well-known band The Swingin’ Cats for a New Year’s and swing music concert at the Museum ground floor.

MusicAcropolisMuseum

Festive meals and Christmas jazz at the Café & Restaurant
During the festive season, the Museum ground floor café and second floor restaurant will serve traditional festive meals and sweets. Christmas jazz nights are also taking place every Friday night by famous jazz music ensembles.
Reservations: +30 210 9000915.

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Musical theatre [ 12 December 2018 – 27 January 2019 ]

A musical in a new version by Jack Thorne with original music by Thodoris Economou

ChristmasCarols1

The magic of Christmas comes to the Greek National Theatre as the Marika Kotopouli Stage at the Rex Theatre extends a festive embrace to the whole family. Share in all the joy and excitement of Yuletide in a thrilling musical version of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol by the dynamic young director Giannis Moschos, who invites us into the world of dreams and the imagination, revealing the true meaning of Christmas!
Dickens’s most famous creation, Ebenezer Scrooge, is the most iconic miser in modern Western culture, and his trials and tribulations are brought to life on the stage of the Rex Theatre in a unique spectacle that will capture the hearts of young and old alike – especially those who are still able to see the world through the innocent eyes of a child.

ChristmasCarols2

Scrooge believes in discipline and hard work and disapproves of Christmas. But this year he has to re-evaluate his life and the people around him when forced to confront his past, present and future by three ghostly apparitions.  Will the hard-hearted Scrooge be moved by the holiday spirit? And if he is, then who can possibly resist it?

Performances every Wednesday to Sunday and Thursday 25 Dec. and Thursday 1 Jan.
Surtitles in English in all performances.
REX THEATRE- KOTOPOULI STAGE
48 Panepistimiou Str., Centre, 105 64
210 3301881-3305074

You can buy your tickets at:
REX THEATRE
Panepistimiou 48
Tuesday: 9:00-16:30
Wednesday to Sunday 9:30-21:30
TICKET SERVICES
Pesmazoglou Arcade – Panepistimiou 39
Monday/Wednesday: 9:00-17:00
Tuesday/Thursday/Friday: 9:00-20:00
Saturday: 10:00-14:00
PUBLIC Store at Syntagma Suare
ONLINE: tickeservices.gr
For more information at ntsn-t-s.gr

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Kalanda (Carols)

 

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