The Greek Feast On Christmas

Greece is tightly connected to people’s mind with summer. However, Greece is an equally welcoming destination for Christmas, not only for the historical places, but also for the culinary experiences this land has to offer!


Pork in the oven, Greek traditional Christmas meal

Christmas Day lunch has always been an important deal. Ιn older times in Greece, it was the custom for each family in the village to raise a pig or “hog”, which would be slaughtered on Christmas Eve and served as the main holiday dish the next day. Most traditional “Christmas time” meals in Greece involved pork.

Nowadays, many Greek families cook pork with potatoes in the oven or pork with lemon sauce and rice. Another part of the population prefers staffed turkey with rice, raisins and chestnuts, obviously affected by the American cuisine on Thanksgiving Day.

No matter the kind of meat, the Christmas meal is accompanied by plenty of wine, which is Greeks’ favorite drink. In the ancient times, wine was blessed by god Dionysus himself – the god of the wine and joy. Greeks were the only nation that had a god-protector of wine and partying. In our most popular tour, the City Tour & Acropolis, we “pay our tribute” to the god Dionysus by visiting the Dionysus Sanctuary and Theater.


Spinach pie, “Spanakopita” with famous “fyllo-dough”

Tyropita (cheese pie) and spanakopita (spinach pie) are greatly “honored” at the Christmas table! The famous fyllo-dough used in Greece gives a unique taste in pie, which perfectly matches the rest of the served dishes. You can taste these pies in our “Athens Food tour“.


Semolina, cinnamon and clove cookies drenched in honey, called “Melomakarona”

Of course, the taste of sugar couldn’t be missing. Melomakarona and Kourabiedes are the two varieties of Christmas and New Year’s cookies in Greece. The first are semolina, cinnamon and clove cookies drenched in honey, while the second are rosewater and fresh butter cookies sprinkled with powdered sugar that are normally served on New Year’s but many give in to temptation and begin consuming them earlier!


Fresh butter cookies, sprinkled with powdered sugar, called ‘Kourabiedes’

For the Christmas meal we bake a specific type of bread, called Christopsomo, which means “Christ’s bread”. Christopsomo has a cross carved into the top crust before it is baked, along with other decorative engravingsOn Christmas Day, the head of the household makes the sign of the cross above the loaf of bread, cuts it and gives a piece to each person at the dining table. The food experience doesn’t stop there of course!
How about discovering more by visiting Greece? Check Athens Walking Tours website! We offer culinary tours and guarantee a unique culinary experience!


Type of bread, especially baked for Christmas, called “Christopsomo”



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