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I just came from my friend's house and I saw there were onions hanging on the door! I asked them about it and learned it was a New Year's tradition. Here's what my research pulled out:

The Greek New Year is celebrated on the 1st of January, but the preparations for the celebration begin on the New Year’s Eve. As per tradition, the Greeks hang onions outside their house, balcony, or anywhere visible to attract good fortune, prosperity, and luck. The onions are hung, infused with various symbols like coins, bread, honey, and olives, representing prosperity, food, and success. This concept reminds the Greeks of their grandmothers, who hung onions outside their homes and gatherings during special occasions, especially New Year’s Eve.

Beyond the symbolic value of the onions, for Greeks, hanging onions also has medicinal and therapeutic benefits. Onions can purify the air and keep away harmful bacteria and impurities due to their sulfur compounds. Additionally, they are believed to have great health benefits and can help boost your immunity, reduce the risk of cancer, and regulate cholesterol levels.

Hanging onions is also a fun activity that the family enjoys together. Everyone gathers around and writes their wishes on the onions and ties them with a red thread, symbolizing good fortune. The onion is then hung outside the house, allowing the wishes to come true. The onions can also be collected at a later stage and used for cooking, acting as a souvenir that remains with the family for the rest of the year.

The notion of hanging onions is an ancient tradition in Greece, and the country takes pride in it. The ritual dates back to ancient Greece, where they were hung on doors and windows to keep away evil spirits and other unwanted energies. In Greece, the land of myths and legends, the onion symbolizes the new life that arises from the depths of the earth, representing hope, fertility, and growth.
I prefer the pomegranate tradition; smells nicer. :)
  • Haha
Reactions: k_tsoukalas
I know what you guys mean. To me, it's had the vibe of "leave garlic on the doorknob so vampires don't come in." I mean, I know it's not that - but onions don't exactly scream prosperity to me. I thought it was interesting, though.

Learning about hospitality in Greece

I was trying to explain to some non-Greek friends about hospitality in Greece. I feel like it's next level, but how do you explain it?

Could anyone help me explain any of the following:
  • Traditional welcome gestures in Greece
  • Common household customs when visiting a Greek home
  • Etiquette for showing appreciation to Greek hosts
  • Any specific do's and don'ts that a foreigner should be aware of

Greek Wedding Traditions Roundup

I am helping someone plan her Greek wedding. I wanted to make a list of all the traditions we need to keep in time for the big day. Did I miss anything?

The Stolisma

The wedding day begins with the ritual of 'Stolisma,' where the bride and groom are prepared separately by their families. It's a moment filled with emotion, songs, and blessings, setting the tone for the day. I had honestly never heard of this. Do people still do it?

The Krevati

An amusing tradition is the 'Krevati' (bed making), where family and friends gather to decorate the couple's future bed with baby items, symbolizing fertility and a happy family life. Money is also often thrown on the bed for good luck and prosperity.

The Crowning (Stefana)

One of the most iconic rituals during the ceremony is the exchange of crowns or 'Stefana.' I believe they need to buy the crowns they want in advance?


No Greek wedding would be complete without 'Koufeta'—sugar-coated almonds given to guests as wedding favors. These bittersweet treats represent the ups and downs of married life and are shared in odd numbers to symbolize indivisibility and shared life.

Advice about making Greek coffee

I've developed a fascination with Greek culture and cuisine, and one aspect I'm particularly eager to explore is Greek coffee. I've heard that it's a unique and delicious brew, but I'm not quite sure how to make it at home.

I understand that Greek coffee is traditionally prepared using a special pot called a briki, but beyond that, I'm a bit lost. What type of coffee grounds should I use, and how finely should they be ground? Are there any specific brands or blends that are favored for making Greek coffee?

I'm also curious about the brewing process itself. Is there a particular technique for achieving that rich, foamy texture that Greek coffee is known for? And what about serving suggestions? Are there any traditional accompaniments or customs that I should be aware of?

Thanks in advance!

List of Cretan Dances?

I will be attending a Cretan wedding and am curious about the traditional Cretan dances! I know the dances are slightly different and I want to learn some. I don't know the names of the dances so that I can look them up. I did some research, though. Are any of these dances common at these weddings?
  • Pentozali
  • Sousta
  • Siganos
  • Chaniotis
There's a dance the wedding party typically does in Crete. Which dance is that?

Greek Naming Traditions?

I have noticed that in Greece, there are some traditions associated with naming their children. Although some Greek families in the United States have done this, many have seemed to lose the traditions.

Does anyone know what some of these traditions are? I am helping a friend name his upcoming child... Here's some of what I have learned:

1. Firstborn daughter names after maternal grandmother
2. Firstborn son named after paternal grandfather
3. Firstborn son named after father

Those are the ones I have figured out. I don't know what is traditional from Greece and what has just been made up amongst Greeks in the US.
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