12th Junior High school Acharnon (Olympic village) – The Christmas Boat

 

The Christmas Boat decoration is a traditional Greek custom alive in few areas,  especially in some islands. The boat used to symbolize the new track of human life after the birth of Christ. It was also a kind of honor and welcoming to the sailors returning home from their travels.

Until the first postwar decade we met the boat in many Greek homes.

However, Chios, a predominantly navy island continues to keep this old custom, paying homage to the sailors and keeping alive the folk tradition.

On New Year’s Eve in the capital city of the island there is the custom of agiovasiliatika karavakia.( Santa Claus’  little boats) Groups from different districts  produce imitations of  commercial and naval ships. Vessel size is up to 5.5 metres as required by regulations. A contest follows to determine the boats which resemble real ones in qualtiy. There is also a cash prize for the winner. This old traditional custom still marks the festive atmosphere of Christmas and New Year in some areas of our country.   

By Μaria Vassilopoulou
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