Christmas is one of the greatest celebrations of Christianity. The holiday of Christmas lasts twelve days in Greece from December 25 to January 6. Most parts in Greece are decorated with bright lights, glowing bells and shining boats. As the country has a rich tradition in shipping, the Greeks have been traditionally decorating boats for Christmas instead of trees at the central squares. Traditionally, the period of Christmas starts on December 6, the name day of Saint Nicolas who is the patron saint of sailors. However, most families decorate trees in their houses. The hobgoblins in Greece are called kallikatzari. These creatures are legendary believed to live deep down inside the earth, and appear only during the period of Christmas. As they love to hide in houses and slip down chimneys, people use to light their fireplaces to keep the hobgoblins away. On the mornings on the days before Christmas and New Year, children sing the carols from one house to another while holding metal triangles and drums. One of the most renowned Greek customs is the St Basil Cake, which is cut at the midnight of New Year. Known as vasilopita, the cake is dedicated to Santa Claus who allegedly brings the gifts to the children on the first night of the year. Traditionally, the cake has a golden coin inside, and whoever finds the coin is considered lucky for the coming year. Other traditional sweets include melomakarona, kourabiedes and diples that are prepared in all houses. In many regions of Greece, people hang a pomegranate above the front door of their houses as a symbol of good fortune. The period of Christmas ends on January 6, the day of the Holy Epiphany, where waters are blessed and a cross is thrown to the waters in order to be catched from brave young people. According to tradition, the hobgoblins disappear on the day of Epiphany when all waters are blessed. Christmas in Greece is a definitely a festive experience! You can always combine your winter escape with the festive period of Christmas in Greece!