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Greek Christmas and New Year Traditions

Looking forward to the Christmas Period? Here below you will find information about some Christmas traditions in Greece.
In the meantime, in order to improve your listening skills,  you can click on the button above, where you will find the text in Greek as well as the Audio
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Lambros Fisfis: When Everyday Life Turns into Comedy

Let us introduce you to well-loved Greek stand-up comedian, actor and screenwriter Lambros Fisfis. Fisfis has gained in popularity thanks to his ability to turn mundane everyday situations into an endless source of laughter through his sarcasm and expressiveness.

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The Greek National Holiday of October 28th

In every country some days of the year are considered as “national anniversaries” because they remind everybody of important historical events. For most of the people, as well as for public services, these days are also “public holidays”.
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Greek Saffron

Saffron, a delicious spice coming from the Krokos (crocus) flower, is growing in Greece and known since ancient times! Saffron is being used in many different ways: for its flavor in the kitchen, for its color in cosmetics and paint, for its healing properties in the pharmaceutical sector. Cleopatra saw the value of using saffron in cosmetics, in the Old Testament it was mentioned because of its essence and Aeschylus described it as a way to dye fabric.
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Lazaretta, the former quarantine of Syros island

Since 2005, during the summer months, Omilo is organizing its Greek Language and Culture courses on the island of Syros. The Omilo students usually fly to Athens or Mykonos, and from there travel by boat to Hermoupolis, the harbor of Syros island, and capital of all Cycladic islands.
When you are about to arrive and face the harbor, you have a magnificent view over the hills of Hermoupolis and Ano Syros.  When you look to the left, on the southern extremity of the port, you also see a stone building, which once was the island’s quarantine, the “Lazaretto”. Nowadays, the building is beautifully lit at night, so it is easy to spot.

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A Greek Story from the Aegean Sea!

When you holiday on a Greek island, you most likely enjoy having lunch or dinner in a picturesque seaside tavern. Here below a story that we found in a nice taverna on the island of Syros.

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Greek recipe : Stuffed Tomates and Peppers (Gemista)

“Gemista”, or usually translated in English as “stuffed tomatoes and peppers” is a traditional Greek dish and easy to make food. It also smells wonderful! You will be delighted!

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Greek Listening Exercise About A Greek Tradition

In the following video you will see teacher Konstantinos and three other Omilo members picnicking in the background. This video is taken in the Singrou Park of Maroussi (Nord Athens), at 600 meters from the Omilo school and was made for the Omilo Quiz about Greece. Konstantinos asks two questions. He also explains more about the “sarrakosti” traditions.
Listen to the video to practice your Greek listening skills. You can read the Greek text also below the video, as well as the English translation.
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Carnival in Greece – a lively tradition

The aim of Carnival is to encourage all citizens, and visitors, to be a part of a lively, fun-filled celebration, which takes place in many venues, squares, streets and schools of villages, towns or city neighborhoods. In Greece, Carnival is a big winter celebration, during which Greeks really enjoy themselves, organize many parties and eat a lot of meat!

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Greek traditional product : mastic or mastiha

Mastiha is a product that comes from the mastic tree. The sticky secretion, the resin, has the color of old wax and might not seem very special, but it has become a product that is known and wanted all over the world. Mastic has not only a unique taste but it has also been shown by scientific research that it is beneficial for the health. When a mastiha tree produces the resin, locals often refer to it as “tears”, or the “crying mastiha tree”!

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