Well, now it really is time for the New Year to begin!
One of the things I have always loved about Greece is the way Christmas doesn’t end on Boxing Day. Carol singing carries on into the New Year, St. Stephens Day (especially if you know a Stefanos) is a big celebration, then New Year’s Eve, with its very own exclusive carol, and New Years Day when Father Christmas (St. Basil), visits bearing gifts. As a triumphant conclusion there is the celebration for Epiphany (Ta Fota). On the eve, there is a final carol to be sung, and on Epiphany Day, January 6th, a gilded cross is thrown into the sea for eager swimmers to “rescue” (though it is attached firmly to the priest’s wrist on a rope or chain).
This year we had a lunch party on 12th Night, and finished off in style in the village church on the morning of Epiphany before going home, clutching our bottle of holy water, to take down all the Christmas decorations and really get back into working mode.