How it began
Greece has always been a nation of sailors. While the men worked long hours at sea, the women stayed at home waiting for their return. When the man returned, the women decorated wooden boats to celebrate this joyous time.
Decorating boats also became a custom during the Christmas season. They placed the boats near the fireplace, with the nose facing inward. This was to ensure a safe journey to the mainland.
The tradition today
In most Greek households today, the Christmas tree has given way to the Christmas boat. But you will still find beautifully decorated boats during the holidays. In the squares of the cities and even in the small mountain villages, the tradition stays in place.
From a religious point of view, the boat represents the journey to the new life that follows the birth of Jesus.
Boat decoration for your home
Bring a bit of Greek tradition to your Christmas decorations this year and add some boats. You can use our wooden napkin boats and decorate them with fairy lights. Or use the ceramic boats and fill them with Christmas sweets. Alternatively, you can do it yourself and cut paper boat garlands or fold your napkins into little boats. (I am sure you still remember from your childhood...)
Let us see how you used this Greek tradition in your decoration, send us some pictures or comment on the blog. We would love to see it!