1 - 2 of 2 Posts

Hash

Well-known member
  • Like
Reactions: nm1999
  • Like
Reactions: Hash

History of the tradition of decorating boats for Christmas

One of the most interesting Greek Christmas traditions to me is the one where people decorate boats. So, I started to research the history. Here's a bit of what I discovered:

The roots of the tradition of decorating boats in Greece for Christmas can be traced back to the country's longstanding ties with the sea. In Ancient Greece, people would often looked to the sea for both sustenance and inspiration, and it was not uncommon for ships to be adorned with religious symbols and decorations.

It also has ties to early Christianity in Greece. According to Greek Orthodox beliefs, Saint Nicolas (aka Santa Claus) was a sailor, and he is the patron saint of sailors. Decorating boats is often seen as a way to honor him.

Over time, this practice became associated with the Christmas season, and the boats began to be decorated specifically for the holiday.

People also make paper boats to decorate. Some call these the "yule boat" or karavaki. One of the most famous examples of this practice is the Yule boat, or karavaki.

The earliest known evidence of decorating boats for Christmas in Greece dates back to the 19th century. During this time, sailors would deck out their boats with lights and tiny boats. These tiny boats were often placed inside the larger boat, symbolizing protection from harm while at sea.

Does anyone have anything to add?

Story of the Birth of Democracy

I just watched a nice documentary about the birth of democracy in Athens. This is so fascinating! I didn't realize the nuances, only the basics about how it began in Athens. This documentary goes into a lot more detail.

Learning about the Olympic Games

It's an Olympics year so I thought I would chat a bit about the Olympic Games!

The original Olympic Games, held in Olympia, Greece, were primarily a festival celebrating Zeus, the king of the Greek gods. These games began around 776 BC and featured a range of athletic competitions, from foot races to combat sports like wrestling and boxing. Interestingly, the games were so significant that wars were put on hold, and conflicts paused to allow athletes and spectators to travel safely to Olympia. This ancient tradition of the Olympic Truce or "Ekecheiria" is a testament to the power of sport in fostering peace and unity, a principle that remains at the heart of the Olympics today.

I find it absolutely intriguing how these ancient games laid the groundwork for the modern Olympics, introducing concepts of sportsmanship, excellence, and the idea of bringing people together through the universal language of sport.

Has anyone visited ancient Olympia? Do you guys enjoy watching the Olympic Games?

Information About Alexander the Great

I have always been fascinated by Alexander the Great. I have this sense that depending on how you look at what he did, you could see it differently.

Sure, he conquered and spread hellenism. But what about the place he conquered? How did they feel? I am guessing not very favorable towards him.

If found this documentary on YouTube created by the history channel. I thought I'd watch it. I found it interesting and wanted to share.

Athens and the creation of democracy

I've been thinking about Athens and how it's the birth of democracy. I wondered if other societies had experimented with the concepts or if Athens was unique? Does anyone know? I know that there's been some evidence that other societies experimented with community leadership, but none had a true democracy like what Athens developed.

It was unique in developing a system where a significant portion of its inhabitants could participate directly in decision-making processes. This early form of democracy was largely initiated under the leadership of Cleisthenes in 508/507 BC. His reforms reorganized the population into ten tribes based on their residence rather than lineage, promoting a broader and more inclusive political engagement.

In this Athenian democracy, citizens had the right to attend the Assembly (Ekklesia), where they could speak and vote on legislation and executive decisions. The Council of Five Hundred (Boule), selected by lot for each of the ten tribes, proposed legislation and handled daily affairs. This lottery system for public office sought to prevent power monopolies and encourage civic participation.

I know that this work truly influenced other democratic governments through the world!

Feel free to chime in with your thoughts- I find this stuff interesting.
Share and discuss Greek history!

WorldwideGreeks.com is a free online forum community where people can discuss Greek food, travel, traditions, history and mythology.
Join Worldwide Greeks here!

JOIN COMMUNITY FOR FREE

LOGIN TO YOUR ACCOUNT
Back
Top