Playing Tavli or Backgammon is a very popular Greek habit. Almost every Greek has enjoyed a sunny morning with cold coffee (preferably a frappe) and a round of “Portes” or a summer afternoon with a glass of ouzo accompanied by a “meze” and a round of “Plakoto”.

 

Το τάβλι είναι μία ιδιαίτερα δημοφιλής συνήθεια των Ελλήνων. Σχεδόν όλοι έχουν απολαύσει ένα ηλιόλουστο πρωινό με έναν κρύο καφέ (κατά προτίμηση φραπέ) και μία παρτίδα «πόρτες» ή ένα καλοκαιρινό απόγευμα με ουζάκι συνοδευόμενο με μεζέ και ένα γύρο «πλακωτό».

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Greek Orthodox Easter is probably the biggest celebration of the year for most Greeks, with a lot of special traditions and family gatherings.  So, how do Greeks celebrate Easter?

In this article you will read about the traditions that are followed in every region of Greece….this is, under normal circumstances.
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Although keeping hands of non-family members is not that simple in corona-times, there are always ways to…..dance!

We are looking forward to welcoming our students soon in Greece again and teaching them some Greek traditional dance steps! It is one of those afternoon activities most students love; either to really dance and learn new steps, or to just watch fellow students while listening to the music, and enjoying a glass of wine!

Below you can learn more about a traditional dance from Thrace (north-eastern Greece), called “Zonaradikos”. Read more

The “Marti bracelet” or just “Marti” is an ancient custom for the beginning of Spring. It is believed it dates back to ancient Greece and it is known all over the Balkans.
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For better or for worse, due to the coronavirus-crisis, nowadays we need to spend more time indoors… #menoumespiti #westayathome
And is there a better way to keep ourselves busy than by watching a good Greek TV series?
“To Nisi” is a Greek period drama series based on the best-selling English novel The Island by Victoria Hislop. Eager to know more?

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In Greece, on December 31st,  children will ring your doorbell and sing the New Year Carol. (unfortunately, this year, due to “corona” and a lockdown in Greece,  children will not be allowed to sing.)

Of course, you can hear this New Year song also on the radio, and actually, you can sing it yourself… A song to say good bey to the “old year” and welcome the “new year”!

Although there are many variations and different songs, there is one song you will hear all over Greece
Listen to the video, and read the text in Greek and English. Enjoy

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Christmas is quickly approaching, which calls for Christmas movie recommendations! Here we’re presenting you a Greek drama film, Christmas Tango (in Greek: Το Τανγκό των Χριστουγέννων), which was directed by Nikos Koutelidakis and based on a novel by Yannis Xanthoulis. It is a story about love, loss and vulnerability.

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Would you like to listen to a Greek Christmas carol, or sing along?
On December 24th, if you are in Greece, do not be surprised when children ring your doorbell early in the morning! Τhe children go from house to house singing about the birth of Jesus Christ, holding their small metal triangles.  Open them the door; it is believed to bring good luck into your home. And do not forget to give them some coins!

Θα θέλατε να ακούσετε τα ελληνικά χριστουγεννιάτικα κάλαντα ή να τα τραγουδήσετε κι εσείς μαζί; Στις 24 Δεκεμβρίου, αν είστε στην Ελλάδα, μην ξαφνιαστείτε όταν νωρίς το πρωί τα παιδιά χτυπήσουν το κουδούνι της πόρτας σας! Τα παιδιά πηγαίνουν από σπίτι σε σπίτι και τραγουδάνε για τη γέννηση του Ιησού Χριστού, κρατώντας τα μικρά μεταλλικά τους τρίγωνα. Ανοίξτε τους την πόρτα. Θεωρείται πως φέρνουν τύχη στο σπίτι. Και μην ξεχάσετε να τους δώσετε μερικά κέρματα! 

However, due to covid 19 and lockdown in December 2020, we are not sure if children are allowed to sing on Christmas Eve…

Παρόλα αυτά, λόγω του κορονοϊού και του γενικού ’’lockdown’’ τον Δεκέμβριο του 2020, δεν είμαστε σίγουροι αν θα επιτραπεί στα παιδιά να τραγουδήσουν την παραμονή των Χριστουγέννων…

Therefore, Omilo teacher Eva, will sing it for you, so you can listen to it as many times as you want 🙂
Before you sing along with Eva,  let’s do a small Greek listening exercise first!

Listen to the song on the video, and fill out the missing words in the exercise, which you can find under the video!

Γι’ αυτό, η δασκάλα του Omilo η Εύα, θα τραγουδήσει για εσάς ώστε να μπορέσετε να ακούσετε τα κάλαντα όσες φορές θέλετε!  Μπορείτε να τραγουδήσετε μαζί με την Εύα αλλά ας κάνουμε μία μικρή ακουστική άσκηση πρώτα! 
Ακούστε το τραγούδι στο βίντεο και συμπληρώστε τις λέξεις που λείπουν στην άσκηση που βρίσκεται κάτω από το βίντεο!

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It is nearly Christmas and preparations have begun. We decorate our house, and we buy or make sweets. During the Christmas Holiday Season, there are two kinds of cookies you can buy or taste all over Greece: melomakarona and kourabiedes. Maybe you would like to bake those delicious cookies yourself, and get into a Greek Christmas mood?
Below you will find our recipe for baking “kourabiedes”.

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Did you ever celebrate Greek Christmas and New Year in Greece?  Apart from other Christmas traditions, you will hear typical Greek carols all over the country: the “kalanta”. Greece is rich in music and depending on the geographical regions, there are different Christmas and New Year songs, using different instruments and rhythms.
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