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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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Alkionides Meres – Greek Mythology Combined With Sunny Winter Days

As in every country and season, there are natural phenomena. A Greek winter can be cold and in the mountainous areas, it always snows. However, every year there are also some very warm days with a lot of sunshine. They are called the “Halcyon days” or “Alkionides Meres”. Unfortunately, we never know on which days exactly those calm bright days will come. Usually, it is the period after Christmas until the end of January when there is a non-interrupted period of days with clear blue skies and warm temperatures, which at least in the Athens region can reach more than 20°C during day-time. Read more

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The Vasilopita-The Greek New Year cake

In Greece, there is a nice tradition of baking the “vasilopita”, a special cake for the New Year, to start things off right! When cutting the cake into slices on New Year’s Day, Greeks will name each slice as they cut it, after everyone in the family and friends. Usually also a coin is hidden in the bottom of the cake. Whoever is lucky enough to get the coin in their slice is considered especially blessed in the coming year! So maybe a nice Greek tradition to also try it with your family and friends back home?

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Greek Christmas Traditions

Here below you will find information about some Christmas traditions in Greece. As a listening exercise you can click on the button above, where you will find the text in Greek while listening to teacher Konstantinos reading the text for you. 
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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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