Celebrate the Holidays Like a Greek!

Cultures from all over the world have special holiday traditions, and Greece is no different. Christmas is an important holiday in Greece, and the celebrations are huge! And, of course, there’s the food. Authentic Greek food is always special, but what we make at Christmastime is something else. At Ya Mas, you’ll have both delicious Greek food and a magical holiday experience.


Let’s look at some of the foods associated with a traditional Greek Christmas.


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The Desserts

There’s nothing wrong with having dessert first, right? Though you’ll have these sweets to finish off a meal, we like to put them at the top of our list. There are many sweet offerings at a traditional Greek Christmas meal. Two of the most popular are melomakarona and kourabiedes, which are both cookies made with oil and honey. Melomakarona is a soft, egg-shaped cookie flavored with orange and cinnamon and covered with honey, and topped with crushed walnuts. Kourabiedies are similar to shortbread. These almond butter cookies are usually covered with powdered sugar.

In Greece, Christmas celebrations last until the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6th, so New Year’s falls within the Christmas holidays. There is a special cake or sweet bread called Vasilopita that Greeks eat at midnight on New Year’s Eve. The name means “sweet bread of Basil,” and commemorates St. Basil. There is a coin inside the Vasilopita and if you get the slice with the coin in it, you’ll have good luck in the New Year!


The Main Course

The Mediterranean diet typically consists of seafood and produce. Traditionally, you would only eat meat on special occasions because of the expense. At Christmas, Greek families traditionally serve pork as the main course. In the past, they used every part of the animal. They would even clean and inflate the bladder to make a ball for their children to play with! These days, we stick to the edible parts of the pig.


Celebrate the Holidays with Greek Food!

There are plenty of other Greek Christmas traditions, including baking Christopsomo, decorating boats, and singing carols. Western traditions like Christmas trees and Santa Claus have also found their way into holiday celebrations. For a truly magical (and delicious) holiday experience, come celebrate with us at Ya Mas!


Contact us at (603) 635-4230 and ask us about catering, or check out our upcoming events!