Troy: Fall of a City or Fall of Accuracy? Is Covid-19 Triggering a Populist Backlash in Greece? some ancient Greek festivals influenced the development of early Christian religious customs surrounding the feast of the Nativity of Christ? Yiaprakia Stuffed Cabbage. Then, the chariot transformed into a sleigh and horses transformed into reindeer. Are Greece-Turkey Talks the Nail in the Coffin of Turkish Sanctions? Christmas boat. In December, the Ancient Greeks celebrated the birth of Dionysus, calling him “Savior” and divine “infant.” According to Greek mythology, his mother was a mortal woman, Semele, and his father was Zeus, the king of the Gods. All Rights Reserved. Each gamma represents one of the four Evangelists, (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) who radiate from the central Greek Cross, which represents Christ. Christmas has been around in one form or another throughout the ages. the Christmas Tree tradition began in Constantinople, during the time of the Byzantine Empire and was then carried north? Greeks believed angry gods could cause trouble for humans. Like any great tradition, it has evolved through time. This popular celebration is of course linked closely to … This is less of a Greek tradition and more of a … It is possible that the 25th of December was chosen to mark Jesusâ birth to correspond with this popular ancient pagan festival. According to the folk Christmas traditions, the hobgoblins are short, ugly creatures with many deformities. In Ancient Greece, the harvest wreath was a sacred amulet, using wheat or other harvested plants, woven together with red and white wool thread. The harvest wreath would be hung by the door year-round. Kalanda has been a part of Christmas celebrations in Greece for thousands of years and goes back to Byzantine times where children would carry small boats and sing songs honoring Dionysius. The New Year’s cake is also the evolution of an ancient Greek custom. The Big Dilemma: Should COVID-19 Vaccines be Mandatory? There was a large tree in central Germany which was so highly revered it was thought the world would end if it was cut down. Perhaps the most similar thing to Christmas in the ancient world was the celebration of the birth of Dionysus, which took place on the 30th of December in Greece. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Swastika_symbol_in_ancient_greek_doll.JPG. For this reason, celebrations such as Christmas incorporated many ancient Roman traditions. There are many traditions associated with the holidays. St. Boniface cut down the tree to discredit the pagan belief and help spread Christianity in the region. Given this article discusses the roots of some Christmas traditions with between Ancient Greece, here are some other interesting links between Hellenism and Christianity. 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The ancient superpower made it a state religion and helped it grow exponentially. Christianity owes its rapid spread partly thanks to the Roman Empire. Actually Golden Dawn MP’s have pointed out many times that the gammadion 卐 was used in Ancient Greece, as part of Ancient Hellenic “pagan” religion, and that there is obviously no doubt that this predates it’s use as a Christian symbol. What is known about Dionysian carols? The hobgoblins are known as kallikantzari in Greek. The most well-known custom throughout the Christian world are the Christmas carols that have roots deriving from ancient Greece. Another important part of Christmas — Santa Claus — is also borrowed from ancient Greek tradition. Late on Saturday night, before midnight all … A POMEGRANATE, an ancient symbol of prosperity and good luck, is hung above the door throughout Christmas. From Christmas Day until the Feast of the Epiphany, on January 6, Greeks watch over their homes especially carefully, looking for moved items or stolen Christmas goodies. Greek tradition of Carolling. Pagan religions had a vast reverence for trees. With the placement of a Christmas tree in the Royal palace of Nafplio, the transition from the ancient Greek “Iresioni Elia” to … Ancient Greek priestesses would tattoo the symbol, along with the tetraskelion, on their bodies. In modern Christmas traditions, Santa travels the world on a sleigh that is pulled by flying reindeers. On December 30, ancient Greeks commemorated his rebirth. Timed to coincide with the winter solstice, there may be some similarities with Scandinavian traditions, but Saturnalia had its origins in ancient Italy and shared some customs … The Greek Christmas season last 12 days, from Christmas to the Epiphany which is January 6. We can find a variety of similarities in the commemoration of the birth of Christ and Dionysus between ancient and contemporary Greece. From Christmas until the Epiphany Day (January 6th), they come up to the world and tease people with … Harvest wreaths were an important symbol to the community in Ancient Greece, not merely to the farmer and his family. The Greeks had their own Santa who rode on a chariot that turned into a sleigh while its horses would turn into flying horses. At midnight,… Turkey is a big part of Greek Christmas food customs, and it is common to find this bird on most Greek Christmas tables. Saturnalia is one example. One of the greatest writers of antiquity, Homer, also composed carols for the occasion, illustrating the importance of the event in ancient Greek tradition. In Florina, a northern Greek city, the town has a tradition every Christmas eve whereby dozens of large fires are set in the main part of the city. If we look at the ancient Greek history and the traditions within, we will see that some of our customs have their roots in ancient Greece. Because Greek society is so religious -- approximately 98 percent of Greece's population belongs to the Greek Orthodox Church -- many of the culture's traditional celebrations center around sacramental services in the church [source: U.S. State Department].. At birth, eldest children are named after a grandparent, an ancient tradition … A similar tradition also existed during the celebration of Dionysus in ancient Greece who resembled light. Very nice, thanks for posting! Children would go from house to house, holding an olive or a laurel branch adorned with wool (a symbol of health and beauty) and different kinds of fruits. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCLnie3HPMg. This popular celebration is of course linked closely to Christianity and is intended to honor the birth of Jesus Christ, but people in nations with little or no Christian traditions are also celebrating this holiday in increasing numbers and, surprisingly, most of the Christmas … before. Some believe this tradition is traced back to the important Greek Saint Nicholas, the Patron Saint of Sailors. Sung in the homes of wealthy Greeks, the carols were associated with prosperity, joy, and peace. How did the tradition of putting up Christmas trees start? “Some date back to 16th-century Germany or even ancient Greek times, while others have caught on in modern times,” the article said. By Edward Whelan, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom The modern world owes so much to the Greeks and the Romans, they influenced how we live and our society in so many ways. The Christmas tree tradition made its way to Greece in 1833, when the Bavarians decorated the palace of King Otto. Why Greece Was Less Effective in Dealing with Covid’s Second Wave. The Sanskrit term Swastika 卐 has been in use in English since 1871, replacing gammadion 卐 (from Greek γαμμάδιον). Virgin Mary Snakes in Cephalonia. In fact, the traditional Melomakarona cookies, meaning Christmas cookies, tend to be created using a number of popular Greek spices, such as cinnamon, cloves, and orange. Centuries later, the same custom was reintroduced into Greece by the Bavarians who escorted their Wittelsbach Prince Otto to become the first King of Greece, as part of the North European Christmas tradition. The Kallikantzaroi, is one such story, which has become a Greek Christmas tradition Kallikantzaroi, plural (Kallikantzaros singular) are mischievous Greek goblins, elves or gnomes, that appear during the twelve days of Christmas, from the end of December until Epiphany, January sixth. the “Fish – ΙΧΘΥΣ (Ichthys)” were used as secret Christian symbols. Wine as pharmakon: Persian drinking in the Histories, Armillary Spheres: Following Celestial Objects in the Ancient World, The Much Beloved but Little Known Poet: Sappho, Christmas: Its Origins in Ancient Greece and Rome, Christmas Traditions in the Ancient World, Roman festival in honor of the god Saturn, Top Ten: Most Terrifying Monsters Of Greek Mythology, Five Reasons Why Socrates Was A Terrible Husband, Prometheus The Creation of Man and a History of Enlightenment. ΙΧΘΥΣ (Ichthys) is an acronym/acrostic for “Ίησοῦς Χριστός, Θεοῦ Υἱός, Σωτήρ”, which translates into English as “Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior”. This does not however negate the fact that the Gammadion cross 卐 was used by early Christians as a secret Christian symbol, just as other symbols e.g. I’ve never seen that first picture (of a priestess?) For instance, now we think that Christmas is … Illuminated boats, roasted pork and honey cookies are all staples of a Greek Christmas. 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