Copyright 2019 © Alexandria Institute - Research Institute of Humanities and Promotion of the Greek Language and Culture. All rights reserved.

New Year’ s Eve, Greek traditions.


New Year' s Eve, Greek traditions.Santa Claus is an international folkloric figure that distributes gifts to children and adults, without any exception. It is a sovereign person of the celebration of New Year and Christmas.
For Orthodox Christians, the Santa Claus is Saint Basil the Great, who lived in Cappadocia and who devoted almost his entire life to helping his fellow man. He is considered as the initiator and first creator of organized philanthropy. According to tradition, St. Basil was lanky, with black eyes and beard. He died the 31st of December 378. On January 1st, 379, the day of his funeral, maintained the tradition that brings blessing and good luck in the New Year.
In the West, the face of Santa Claus has been identified with the history of St. Nicholas, famous for his generosity.


On the day the New Year’s Day, the day of St. Basil’s feast the host of the house cuts and splits a cake, called Vasilopita. Inside the cake there is a coin. Whoever finds the coin in his piece, will have good luck all year.


New Year' s Eve, Greek traditions.








New Year’s Eve carols

First of the month and first of the year
My tall rosemary
Let our good year begin
Church with the holy throne

It is the beginning when Christ
Holy and spiritual
Will walk on earth
And cheer us up

St. Basil is on his way
And will not deign on us
From Kesaria
You’re a Lady milady.