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I noticed that there is a taverna culture of "gaming". I see tavli played all the time. Are there other games people play?

I am wondering if people play chess, checkers, that kind of thing? What about physical games like bocci like they play a lot in Italy? I have seen this game in Switzerland and other places, too, and wonder if the Greeks also play it.

Also, what do kids play for games in Greece?


People do play chess, checkers, I have also seen bocci if there was enough space... I also don't always see people playing games, too. There is ALWAYS a tavli player.


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Tavli is definitely a popular game in the taverna culture, but there are also many other games played in Greece as well. For example, there's a card game called "Ξερή" (Xeri) which is similar to the game of Poker, and another one called "Πριμοστίχοι" (Primosticho) which is a trick-taking game.

As for physical games, I'm not sure about bocci specifically, but there is a game called "Καβάνα" (Kavana) which is similar to horseshoes, where players try to throw metal rings onto a target.

Have you heard about the blackout bingo scam that's been going around? It's important to be vigilant and aware of these types of scams, no matter where we are in the world.
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Tavli is indeed a popular choice, and you might also find Greeks enjoying classics like chess and checkers. Physical games like bocce might be less common, but it's possible you'll come across them too.
As for kids, they often have their own set of games. In Greece, you might see kids playing traditional outdoor games like tag, hide and seek, and variations of catch. It's a wonderful way for them to stay active and have fun.
By the way, if you're curious about trying out a unique gaming experience, you might want to check out the Solitaire Cash app. It's a modern twist on the classic card game and offers a chance to win while playing.
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I always wanted to learn both Tavli and Bocce. The only one I know how to play is checkers! Might be worth learning ahead of my next Greek trip.

Do Greeks exchange Christmas gifts?

I am visiting Greece for the first time to visit people this Christmas. Is it customary to give gifts? I know Greeks in the diaspora like in the United States and Canada follow the tradition of giving gifts... but I can't tell if it's a big thing in Greece.

I would think it is somewhat similar to in the United States. Some of the people I am visiting spend part of the year in the US and part in Greece.

Some thoughts about gifts:

- I plan to bring some things to them unique to the US.
- I likely would have done this anyway, but figured I'd wrap it.

When does Orthodox lent start this year?

I noticed our Easter is late - May 5th - but Western Easter is at the end of March. Has Lent already started for them? When does our Lent start?

This year, I plan to do a stricter Lenten fast, so I want to plan some things out in advance.

Lent is a time for introspection, repentance, and spiritual growth. Through the dedicated practice of fasting, prayer, and charity, believers seek not only to grow closer to God but also to better understand themselves in relation to God’s will.

How olive oil is made in Greece

I love the taste of Greek olive oil. I am also fascinated by how it's made. I watched some demos in Greece, both using ancient practices and modern ones. Here's some information. I also shared a video.

The process begins with the harvest period, which runs from mid-October to mid-December. During this period, the olives are hand-picked from the trees and sorted to ensure that only the best olives are used in the production of the oil.

The olives are then taken to the olive press to be turned into oil. In Greece, the traditional method of extracting oil is by using a Three-wheel stone mill. This method is slow and laborious, but it imparts a unique flavor and quality to the oil. The olives are crushed into a pulp between the rotating granite wheels, and the oil is separated from the pulp using a centrifuge. The centrifuged oil is then stored in dark bottles to preserve its flavor and aroma.

Here's the video I talked about:

Ideas for Celebrating the New Month - Kalo Mina

Growing up, I heard my family say this all the time when there was a new month. I finally started paying attention to the tradition and ritual of saying it.

Kalo Mina actually means "Good Month" but my family took it a step further. We developed the habit of doing something special as a family to celebrate.It depends which day it falls. Some things we've done:

- Brunch - We do this if it falls on a weekend.
- Dinner - Going out to dinner is great any time of the year!
- Journaling - We've done family journaling parties, sitting together reflecting on the month. Sometimes we read aloud what we write (depends how the month went LOL)
- Goals - No matter if we do anything, like go out to dinner or brunch, we always sit and review our goals for the month together.

Greek Sports Channels in the US?

I love to watch some of the Greek sports channels when in Greece. There's nothing like a proper Greek broadcast for "football" - watching it in the US and English language just isn't the same.

I'd be willing to pay money for a service. Is there a way to get Greek TV in the United States that just has mostly the sports channels?
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