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folklore

Greece Nominates Epirus Festivals for UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage Listing

The Greek Ministry of Culture recently submitted an application to UNESCO in hopes that by the time of the traditional village celebrations of Epirus' Syrrako and Vlasti on August 15, they will be included on UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list. The...

Crete Has Its Own Patron Saint of Love, the Martyr Yakinthos

February 14th is the globally-celebrated day of Saint Valentine, internationally known as the day of lovers. Millions of stores around the world are lavishly decorated in red and vast quantities of roses, chocolates and stuffed animals are sold and...

Pomegranate: The Ancient Greek Symbol of Life, Good Fortune for the New Year

Smashing a pomegranate on New Year’s Day is an Ancient Greek custom that continues to this day as the red colored nutritious fruit is considered a symbol of life and good fortune. Ancient Greeks believed that the pomegranate’s ruby-like arils,...

Ancient Greek Good Luck Charms for the New Year

The word Γούρι (Gouri) means both "good luck" and "good luck charm" in Greek. Objects and practices which have been considered to attract good luck are part of ancient customs that have existed through the ages -- and are...

Traditional Greek Dances Performances Underway in Athens Until September 22

A series of performances of Greek traditional dances will start on Sunday, August 18 in Athens and will continue until September 22. In central Athens' Philopappou Hill, at the ''Dora Stratou'' theater, performances will be held for five days every...

Why Greeks Smash a Pomegranate on New Year's Day

Breaking the pomegranate on New Year's Day is an Ancient Greek holiday tradition, with its origins in the Peloponnese or Serres, and later spreading over the entire nation. In Greek folklore, the pomegranate has served as a symbol of strength since...

Gambling on New Year’s Eve Has Become Greek Tradition

Outside of the Greek world, it is little known that Greek people nearly always play cards on New Year's Eve. But according to Greek folklore beliefs dating back to ancient times, the new year will not go well if...

Podariko: The Greek New Year's Custom is Still Alive

One of the oldest customs Greeks follow with the advent of the New Year is called “podariko”, from the root pod-, or foot, roughly meaning “good foot.”  Loosely translated, this means that the person who first sets foot in your...

The Legendary Maria Pentagiotissa: The First Femme Fatale of Modern Greece (video)

The story of Maria Pentagiotissa contains all the elements of an urban legend, yet she was a real person, with some considering her to be the first femme fatale of the new Greek State or even the first Greek...

Greeks Gamble on New Year's Eve for Good Luck

For many Greeks, the new year will not go well if they don't play cards on New Year's Eve. And if they do play cards and lose, then the new year will be full of bad luck. But if...