Greek Customs and Traditions

Name Day ©Symi Island Greece/flickr

Name Day ©Symi Island Greece/flickr

One of the much honored traditions by the Greeks in the modern time today are name day celebration. These names are of saints and on this day, friends visited the one who is having the name day without invitation offering wishes about longevity with little presents. In return, chocolates, pastries or candies are offered from his or her home.

Engagement and Marriage in Greece

Prior to the marriage is the engagement, so asking for the hand has to be made from the father of the woman. Blessing of the marriage is by a priest. Rings are put on the left ring fingers, well wishes from the guests invited are given to the couple. Then for the marriage, a dowry made by the woman’s mother and grandmother. Usually her father offers a furnished home as a wedding gift to the couple. This dowry practice is not carried out in bigger cities in Greece in the modern times today. And the wedding day is when the bride is all dressed up and kept hidden due to the belief that it is unlucky to let the groom see the bride before the wedding ceremony.

Wedding Ceremony

On the wedding ceremony, before the wedding rings are placed on the couple’s head, they are cross the crows over each other three times. There is an Isaiah dance following the declaration of the married couple, guests also will throw rice and almond candy called ‘ta koufeta’ at the new couple. The following event is a wedding reception where all of them will eat, dance and drink the entire night.

Baptism

Greek Baptism ©Robert Lio/flickr

Greek Baptism ©Robert Lio/flickr

The first year after the baby is born, is the sacrament of the Baptism. Baby is called baby only after he or she is baptized. So during the first year, she do not have a name. The undressed baby is wrapped in white towel for the blessing of the priest with water of the baptismal font. Godparents brought and adds the olive oil to it. Immersing the baby three times in the blessed water and saying the baby’s name. The chosen name is the same as the grandmother or grandfather. Then blessing with myrrh and the baby’s clothes. The baby is then dressed in white clothes and priest shall placed a gold chain with a cross on the neck, afterwards, he or she receives her first Holy Communion. A celebration at home or the restaurant following that.

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