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Monday, 22 December 2008

The Patron Saint at Christmas for Sailors

St. Nicholas is important in Greece as the patron saint of sailors. According to Greek tradition, his clothes are drenched with brine, his beard drips with seawater, and his face is covered with perspiration because he has been working hard against the waves to reach sinking ships and rescue them from the angry sea.

In the Greek Eastern Orthodox Church Christmas ranks second to Easter in the roster of importance. Yet there are a number of unique customs associated with Christmas that are uniquely Greek. On Christmas Eve, children go from house to house offering good wishes and singing kalanda, the equivalent of carols. Often the songs are accompanied by small metal triangles and little clay. The children are frequently rewarded with sweets and dried fruit.

Christmas trees are not commonly used in Greece. In almost every home the main symbol of the season is a shallow wooden bowl with a piece of wire is suspended across the rim; from that hangs a sprig of basil wrapped around a wooden cross.

Gifts are exchanged on St. Basil's Day (January 1). On this day the "renewal of waters" also takes place, a ritual in which all water jugs in the house are emptied and refilled with new "St. Basil's Water." The ceremony is often accompanied by offerings to the naiads, spirits of springs and fountains.

Congratulations to yesterday's winners: Sally Betts & Jason Carter.

At Janeo Jewels we want to encourage you to sign up for a second chance to win one of our valuable prizes during the 25 chances to win. All you have to do is post a comment on this topic today and you’ll be entered a second time to win the prize drawing for that day. You’ll have 25 chances to win.

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