Christmas & New Year’s Eve in Mykonos!
…or, life in Mykonos when you are not there!
Chances are that you might never decide to spend your Christmas holidays in Mykonos or in any other Greek island. Beautiful pictures of azure skies, clear blue seas, sun-washed sandy beaches and elegant dining under the stars don’t really match with the image of Santa sliding down the chimney.
Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that life in Mykonos stops after the last tourists fly back to their countries for the winter! It’s true that things slow down a lot, as many of the locals take the opportunity to travel in the Greek mainland or abroad; but there is still life on the island, enhanced by the presence of many foreigners — artists, authors and other lovers of this blessed corner of the world, who have made it their home.
So, if you ask them they will tell you that even in mid-winter there are still many sunny, warm days that call for a long walk on the beach, followed either by a swim or by a mouthwatering lunch in a picturesque sea tavern that offers fresher that fresh fish and other local delicacies.
Local customs and traditions
And when Christmas comes, they love to visit the old port where they will be met by the fascinating sight of shining, lit up fishing boats, decorated with small colorful lamps and all sorts of flags, as Greeks prefer to celebrate the birth of Christ and the coming of the New Year with a slight taste of sea salt!
On Christmas and New Year’s eves, children knock on every town or village door, singing beautiful carols that are usually “awarded” with house treats or money, while the atmosphere is filled with the aromas of the homemade sweets — like the irresistible, traditional “kourabiedes” (butter biscuits with almonds, dusted with icing sugar), “melomakarona” (baked biscuits dipped in honey syrup) and “diples” (fried dough dipped in honey syrup).
There are also beautiful sayings, like for example that if on New Year’s Day the wind comes from the North or a pigeon lands on your house yard, it is a good omen. On the contrary, if you see a raven flying over your roof, there are chances of bad things happening. In some of the Aegean islands, on the first morning of the New Year, people touch their faces with a piece of iron so that they will be healthy and strong like iron throughout the year!