Cretan Traditions

Cretan wedding

In Crete the wedding is an important celebration for the family. The family organize a big party with guests from 50 to 4000. The couple prepare themselves in their family house, separately. The groom goes to the church on the right time but the bride has to be late for 30 minutes or 1 hour. She goes to the church with all the family by foot and with traditional musical accompaniment. The churches are not so big for all of the guests so some of them are out and they conversing. After the ceremony the guests pass by the couple and their parents congratulating. The same time the guests give the present, sometimes the present is an envelope with money 50-500 Euro. This meaning that the couple are able to start family life in comfort. After the ceremony is the big party. This party is paid by the parents of the couple.
A lot of food, wine and raki (traditional Cretan drink) is on every table for the guests. The dance starts by the bride's family and then the family of the groom. After the end of this dance everybody is welcome to dance. Traditional music is the main program of songs. If you have the chance to be there for a Cretan wedding , do not miss this amazing experience. Be prepared and sleep a lot the previous night because the party will be until 8:00- 9:00 in the morning.

Christmas in Crete

Christmas in Crete is for children but also for everyone a very nice period of the year. Children have not school for 15 days. The previous days of 25 December and 31 December children wake up early in the morning and go for to sing a special song (carol) in every shop and in every house. Some of them have traditional musical instruments and most of them with the traditional triangle. They try to collect money for to buy some presents. The atmosphere in every city is special this days. Housewife cook special sweets. (Melomakarona, Kourampiedes, Kserotigana) .
The night of 31 December all the family is in one house celebrating, eating and when the new year is coming they have one Pie (Vasilopita= Pie of Santa Claus) and they cut it in pieces. The first piece is for Jesus, the second is for house and then they share it to all attendees. In this pie is one coin if somebody find it, it means luck for him for the new year.
''Happy new year'' = ''Kali Chronia''
''Merry Christmas'' = '' Kala Christougenna''

Easter in Crete, ''Pascha''

''Pascha'' in Crete is a big celebration for one week. The week before Easter is known as ''Megali Evdomada'' or in English ''Great Week''. Every day of this week it means something different. Specially , the ''Holy Thursday'' the women make the eggs red the color of the dead Christ. The night of this day the virgin-girls go to the church for the adornment of casket of Christ.The next day, ''Great Friday'' is a day of respect and mourning of Christ. People go to the church from early the morning until the night around 21:00. Then it is the casket procession around every city or village. After that people go again back to the church until 01:00 at night. On ''Great Saturday'' everybody prepare themselves for the big celebrate at night. In the late evenings towards midnight there is the church service celebrates the rising of Christ. At midnight all the church's lights are closed and the priest in the darkness turns with a single candle crying ''Christos Anesti'' Christ is risen. Everybody has a candle to receive the light of Christ ,which brought all the way from the cave of Christ's nativity in Jerusalem. They try to keep the light until they will arrive home for luck to their family the next year. Also they cross the top of the door with the candle 3 times. On Sunday the party is really big for every family , like a small ''Panigiri''.
''Pascha'' it means the passing over of Christ from here on earth to the Kingdom of Heaven.

Red eggs for Easter