Friday, 7 December 2018

Old Saint Nik

6th December

Fiesta of Saint Nikolas, patron saint of the Greek Navy, merchant and otherwise.  In fact patron saint of all those sailing on the seas, from fishermen in their traditional caiques to the coast guard who goes out in a storm to rescue a sinking raft overloaded with refugees.

Name day of Nik, Nikolas and Niki, Nikoletta and all niks therein.
Niks and Niki's  should have been offering around small sticky cakes and chocolate bonbons to clients, fellow workers, friends and acquaintances.

Family would have turned up on the doorstep for the traditional drinks and platters of meat, salads and specialities of the lady of the house.

Sailors ex and present filled the church on this morning at the Navy School, a church dedicated naturally enough to St. Nikolas.

After the service Navy personnel and church goers were treated to festive cakes, coffee, wine and snacks.

Those whose name day it was brought boxes of cakes, loaves of sweet bread and oil based goodies for those on the religious fast.

St. Nik does not bring presents to the good children, or the bad. Gifts are given out by St. Basil here in Greece.

If you're lucky and come from a cross cultural family you could try for a double visit. Didn't happen in our house.  St. Nik brought our girls presents, coming through the window of our Piraeus flat or the rickety shutters of our old house on Crete.  He always left a few crumbs of his Christmas melomakarouna but managed to drink all of his whiskey.

Another day, another feast.

What's your tradition?


  1. Love to hear of traditions, in other countries.

    Dec. 7th in the US, as the Anniversary of Pearl Harbor. But even I forgot. -sigh-

    Belated Happy Saint Nik Day!

    1. Pearl Harbour! We didn't hear anything about this memorial on our news. It is a most important anniversary.

  2. I hope St Basil's gifts are as generous as Santa's are over here; just tell him to keep them to a minimum. Foul weather here, we could do with some fun and games!

    1. St Basil's gifts are more inclined to clothes and new shoes but he is assisted by godmothers who take the job very seriously

  3. We have Chanukah this week,We light candles and eat lots of donuts.

    1. I'll take the donuts! Better than greek sweets. Happy Chanukah!!!

  4. Not many traditions here in NZ - kiwis can be pretty run of the mill sometimes. If I wasn't working however I'd be making different types of xmas cookies for my children, these days I do'nt have alot of time.