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Best time to go to Greece

New Year's Eve 2023-2024

Smash a pomegranate for good luck and welcome a plentiful New Year

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Last updated: by Olga Valchyshen
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New Year's Eve is one of the most popular holidays in Greece. Thousands of people take to the streets of big cities to participate in massive celebrations with live music, dances, and fireworks. Greek New Year traditions also include singing carols or kalandas. Children often go door-to-door and sing folk songs for money or a small treat.

An interesting custom involves a pomegranate hung on the front door. After midnight, the first person to enter through the door is supposed to bring good luck, and the pomegranate is smashed with the wish of a prosperous and plentiful New Year. Thus pomegranate is a symbol of New Year celebrations in Greece.

On the first day of New Year, Greeks eat Vasilopita cake with a coin hidden inside. The person who gets the slice with a coin is supposed to have luck during the upcoming year. Greeks also cook special New Year dishes and hold large family feasts. However, if you weren't invited to a family celebration, there are still plenty of ways to get the most out of the magical NYE night.

Athens

In Athens, thousands of people gather in Thissio with the lit-up Acropolis towering above. The Countdown party features live acts by some of Greece’s best musicians, singers, actors, DJs, orchestras, and bands. The culmination of the evening with a family-friendly atmosphere is a spectacular fireworks display over the Acropolis at 9 pm.

Another street party takes place at Syntagma Square. The countdown event features a lineup of Greek celebrities, DJ sets, and magnificent fireworks at 10 pm. Revelers also gather in the Agia Irini area, which hosts many great bars and clubs. Another option is the Gazi area which also boasts a fun atmosphere.

Thessaoiniki

Aristotelous Square in the center of Thessaloniki hosts the largest celebration in this port city, famous for its Byzantine architecture. The countdown at the square features the concert with a lineup of prominent Greek performers and musicians. The evening ends with a spectacular fireworks display over the waterfront. Thessaloniki is also known for its legendary night scene with plenty of excellent clubs and bars scattered around Aristotelous Square and the 15-th century White Tower.

Santorini

Santorini is a perfect option for a quiet and low-key NYE celebration. The island, famous for its unique scenery and volcanic rocks, is usually crowded during the high season, but during winter holidays, it becomes a secluded getaway without crowds. Many hotels and restaurants in Santorini are closed in December; however, you can still find a place to stay in Oia, famous for its white-and-blue houses. Fira, the island's capital, also offers plenty of activities during New Year's Eve.

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