1st January St Basil
It's good old Saint Basil who brings presents to the greek children and on New Years day, not on Christmas Day.
My kids got their presents from St Nick on Christmas day and they have continued that tradition with their children. Both generations naturally thought they should get presents on both days. No way that was going to happen.
6 th January there is another big celebration, public holiday, that of the Blessing of the Waters. This year churches are open but only a few at a time are allowed inside.
Only half of the ceremony takes place inside the church. After the main service a procession of priests and important island people proceed down to the waterfront where a big woooden cross, attached to a long line, is thrown into the harbour 3 times. The third time the cross goes into the water a bunch of hardy locals dive in to retrieve it. The one who holds the cross aloft is specially blessed and receives some reward from the church.
This year none of that was supposed to happen but in some places the cross was thrown into the sea or a river and various church officials plus those faithful ones who dove into the waters to be first to reach the cross have all received hefty fines.
We would have brought back bottles of blessed water from the church which K would have sprinkled over us both and all around the house.
The whole island plus a few hundred visitors usually go down to the harbour, all dressed up in Sunday best, to witness all this. Instead today we stayed home and K watched one of the services on TV.
It's a day for gathering with friends and family. drinking ouzo and seafood mezes and enjoying the pomp and ceremony. Usually.