"New Greek Words..." Top 5 Page for this destination Greece Local Custom Tip by deecat

Greece Local Customs: 236 reviews and 186 photos

While in Greece I was introduced to these words:

kafenion: a Greek coffeehouse. Sitting around the "kafenion" is a village tradition. The "kafenion used to be strictly MALE territory. Men gathered there for hours to talk about the latest news, about politics, & about their work. They usually lamented the changes taking place in the Greek society. Now, both men & women might be seen in a "kafenion. However, old men are still the major patrons. {The younger generation go to "trendier" places & watch television to replace the traditional of the kafenion.

Apokries is carnival season that begins in February & lasts for 3 weeks before the pre-Easter Lenten season. Greeks dress in fancy costumes, eat, drink, & dance. The most spectacular festivities take place in Patras & in Athen's Plaka.

Epitaphios: during the Easter season on Good Friday, Greeks carry candles through the streets in the "epitaphios" [a funeral procession for Christ].

majiritsa is a traditional soup made with lamb, egg, lemon juice, & plenty of dill. Greeks eat majiritsa soup to break their pre-Easter fast.

Vasilopitta is Basil Cake, & on New Year's Day in Greece [also feast of St. Basil], a coin is baked into the Vasilopitta. Tradition says that whoever gets the slice of cake with the coin in it shall enjoy a year of good luck. We lived upstairs to a Greek Family for 2 years, & each New Year's, we would eat Vasilopitta with them. We never got the piece with the coin.

My favorite new word from Greece was:
Gynaikokratia which in villages in some Thracian towns, the people switch roles on January 8. "Gynaikokratia" was the name of an ancient Greek comedy, and the word literally means "Women Rule" Women of the village get to hang out in cafes while the men stay home cooking, cleaning house, & taking care of the children. When night arrives, the men join the women in a celebration. I think that is a ol idea

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  • Updated Dec 18, 2008
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