How is Greece celebrating 2020 Christmas? Pitsa and Christos Macarounis described strict quarantine measures, with police patrolling the streets of Tripoli, in the Peloponnese. The new normal includes: masks; 6 feet distance; 9 persons maximum house parties and limited contact with the elderly.
Greeks are sociable, hospitable persons. They know how to turn a negative into a positive and have a good time. Christmas traditions continue. Dr. Papadopoulos is making a mark in the field of education with impressive podcasts for Greek Teachers Association “Prometheus” online programs. Dr. Papadopoulos is a teaching staff member of the European University Cyprus in Nicosia/Lefkosia. The Papadopoulos family shared with this writer the Christmas traditions in Larissa during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The Park of Wishes is a Christmas park developed every year to welcome young and old,” said the scholar. “It’s full of Christmas activities, cafes, gifts and surprises. It is developed in Larissa every year. However, this year it was not organized because of Covid 19.” This is very sad. It was a magical wonderland park in 2019 Alcazar, Larissa.
Dr. Papadopoulos described a unique Christmas display. “The Christmas boat is a creation of the association of electricians in Larissa. It is developed every year. The display is at the Post Office Square.”
“During Christmas, small fishing boats honor St. Nicholas, especially on the islands, with decorations of blue and white lights. Decorated boats are the most traditional holiday symbol in Greece. For this reason, you will often see boats decorated with many sparkling lights, rather than the traditional Christmas trees.”1
He shared in Messenger the traditional foods prepared. A phyllo meat pie is made with different types of meat. It is cooked to celebrate Christmas. Some people in Larissa use it for New Year’s day as a St. Basil’s pie with the lucky coin. Melomakarona (honey-dipped cookies) and kourabiedes are baked.”
“The last photo was taken at a Shopping mall in Larissa,” he said. “It is the only big mall in Larissa, with numerous stores and activities” I was impressed with their live Christmas tree. European handmade ornaments adorned the tree in their dining room. Happy smiling children in the photos gave me hope for the present and future. 2020 Christmas traditions carry on in Greece.