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CHRISTMAS IN SKOPELOS
Let’s welcome the best time of the year. Christmas has always been a celebration of love, kindness, and offerings. All over the world, everybody gets in the Christmas mood. The houses and streets acquire beautiful ornaments and lights, kids are singing carols, and the housewife bakes delicious Christmas sweets.
The Christians respectfully celebrate the birth of Jesus. Santa Claus comes on the first day of the year to hand out gifts giving extra happiness to the children.
As in all of Greece, in Skopelos special Christmas celebrations are held. Most celebrations are clearly about children, though at Christmas time everyone is revealing the child hiding inside them.
In Greece as well as in Skopelos the Christmas season starts on December 6th, which is the day that Saint Nicholas (or sailors’ saints) celebrates. The unofficial end of Christmas is January 7th, the day that Saint John is celebrating.
Schools close for two weeks during the Christmas season. Usually from the eve of Christmas (December 23) to St. John’s Day (January 7)
All the houses and neighborhoods of Skopelos are flooded with wonderful Christmas fragrances, ornaments, and gifts. In all bakeries, pastry shops, and all grocery stores, preparations are being made vigorously. Everyone is preparing traditional Christmas delicacies.
DECORATION OF CHRISTMAS TREE – TRADITIONAL SHIP
Like all over the world at Christmas, Skopelos decorates Christmas trees with countless ornaments, lights, Christmas balls, and handmade constructions.
The tradition of decorating a boat is also widespread in Greek homes. This custom was much stronger in the old years in Greece. Children with excessive love, impatience, and intense creativity tried and accomplished the craft of the boats themselves.
The construction was improvised with each material that existed in every home.
In the old years, there were many more sailors. So the boat also includes a tribute to Greek sailors as well as the anxiety of relatives for quick reconnection.
Apart from the nautical element that was present in Skopelos and all over Greece, the boat has one more symbol. It essentially urges us for a new voyage into our lives at the beginning of the new year always based on Christ’s birth.
Kids love Christmas. Apart from gifts, and ornaments, the Christmas holidays is the time of the year for carols. Carol is a traditional song that groups of children sing in all their neighborhood homes. In return for the merry Christmas tune, they get money and a Christmas cake.
As in all of Greece, in Skopelos, the carols sound on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
Christmas FESTIVAL EVENTS IN SKOPELOS CHORA
Every year the Municipality of Skopelos organizes wonderful Christmas events and celebrations.
The usual venue for Christmas events is in the Town of Skopelos in front of the municipal café. The Christmas party is for all ages and especially for children.
The program includes Christmas tree decoration and Christmas activities by the Parents and Guardians Associations of the elementary school, kindergartens, and high school of Skopelos.
Santa Claus is always present to give gifts to the children of Skopelos while the other volunteers play nonstop with them. They make Christmas face paintings, take selfies with Santa Claus and his friends and create impressive Christmas constructions.
They are always organized, by the Parents and Guardians Associations, amazing Christmas bazaars with homemade Christmas dishes and Christmas creations made by the students.
Many times children present excellent Christmas performances, either theatrical or dance performances. Always in Christmas texts and melodies.
The cultural and folklore club of Skopelos is always happy to participate in Skopelos Christmas. Adults sing Christmas songs. Skopelos Theatrical Association, ETHOS, is also pleased to present Christmas presentations.
There are many surprises at the Skopelos Christmas festival and they vary every year. The effect of the Christmas snow had won the impressions of Skopelos residents.
Of course, there is always a buffet with Christmas pastries, offered by the Municipality of Skopelos.
Adults will enjoy gluhwein and have fun with loud Christmas music.
As mentioned above Christmas is the day of Love and Offer. Parents and Guardians’ associations always make sure that there is a supply and solidarity basket for people who are at a disadvantage.
Christmas FESTIVAL EVENTS IN NEO KLIMA SKOPELOS
Christmas events in the New Klima Skopelos are known as the Klimatiana Christmas.
For the sixth year in a row the Local Community of Neo Klima along with the Parents and Guardians Association and the A.O. KERAUNOS corporate present amazing Christmas preparations, celebrations, and events. So as in recent years have been amazing Christmas activities for the children of Skopelos.
Decorating and lighting up the Christmas tree, balloon dancing, movie screenings, performances by our little friends, the presence of Santa Claus of course distributing gifts from his magic sack, children’s craft bazaars, traditional Christmas music, treats, and lots of fun.
Of course, not even from the Christmas in Neo Klima is missing the basket of love and offer.
Cheerful events with music, dancing, and fun are also held in Glossa village in Skopelos.
NEW YEAR TRADITIONS ON THE ISLAND OF SKOPELOS
The most traditional custom refers to New Year’s Day. Especially to the first person to visit a house. On the first day of the year, January 1st, we meet the “ambadiko” habit or otherwise the custom of “first foot”. The purpose of this is to repel evil. The housewife of Skopelos’ house is called upon to press or break a pomegranate and to sprinkle water on those present. She also holds ironstone to make all her loved ones iron (meaning strong and healthy).
The first guest to come home should be a lucky and kind person! He must enter the house with his right foot.
CHRISTMAS SWEETS flavors IN Skopelos
The Christmas sweets starring in all the houses of Skopelos are sugared buns (kourampiedes), melomakarona, and crisp dumplings.
GREEK ALMONDS SUGAR BALLS (KOURAMPIEDES)
Giannis Loukakos on his website gives us the following excellent recipe for delicious kourampiedes!!
- 300 g fresh butter
- 350 g cow butter
- 220 g icing sugar
- 60 g black rum
- 4 g vanilla natural
- 2 g baking powder
- 1120 g flour
- 2 g salt
- 250 g almond, roasted, and coarse
Powdered sugar for sprinkling
Whisk the butter with the icing sugar and vanilla on a wire whisk in the mixer until it gets white (about 15-20 minutes). We lower the speed of the mixer.
Stir the flour, baking powder, and salt and pour this mixture into the beaten butter gradually. Add the almonds and then the rum. Make the dough with our hands in a single piece.
Cut dough balls, make sure they are of the same weight, and shape the curry buns into the shape you want.
Slightly press the finger of each biscuit (kourampie) on top and place them in a baking tray, leaving a little distance between them.
Bake in preheated oven at 170 C for 15-20 minutes. Remove them from the oven, let them cool very well, and sprinkle them with powdered sugar.
Akis Petretzikis Bake in preheated oven at 170 C for 15-20 minutes. Remove them from the oven, let them cool very well, and sprinkle them with powdered sugar. Sure success in melomakarona!!
For the syrup
- 500 g water
- 800 g granulated sugar
- 150 g honey
- 3 stick(s) cinnamon
- 3 cloves
- 1 orange, cut in half
- 400 g orange juice
- 400 g seed oil
- 180 g olive oil
- 50 g icing sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon(s) cloves
- 2-3 teaspoon(s) cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon(s) nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon(s) baking soda
- zest, of 2 oranges
- 1-kilo all-purpose flour
- 200 g semolina, fine
For the syrup
- Boil all of the ingredients for the syrup, apart from honey, until the sugar melts. Remove from heat. Add the honey and mix till combined.
- let the syrup cool for 3-4 hours. It must be cold by the time the cookies come out of the oven.
- You can prepare the syrup from the day before…
For the cookies
- Preheat the oven to 190* C (370*F) Fan.
- To make the cookies, you need to prepare 2 separate mixtures.
- For the first mixture, add all of the ingredients to a large bowl. Mix, using a hand whisk.
- In a separate bowl, add all of the ingredients for the second mixture.
- Combine the first and second mixtures.
- Mix by hand, very gently, and for a very short time (10 seconds at the most). If you mix longer the mixture will split or curdle.
- Mold cookie dough into oval shapes, 3-4 cm in length, 30 g each. Try to keep them as similar as possible.
- Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until they are crunchy and dark golden brown.
- As soon as you remove them from the oven, soak the hot cookies in the syrup for 10 seconds.
- Allow them to drain on a wire rack.
- Drizzle with honey and chopped walnuts.
Argyro Barbarygou on her website gives us the following excellent recipe for crispy dumplings.!!
- 5 eggs
- 2 vanilla
- soda on the spoon’s nose
- 1 pinch of salt
- 3 ½ cup flour
- olive oil or seed oil for frying
For the syrup
- 500 g of thyme honey
- 1/2 teaspoon(s) cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon(s) cloves
- 1 cup water
- chopped walnuts
For dumplings, first, separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. In the egg whites, add the salt and beat until they are crisp (medium speed).
In the yolks, we pour the vanilla and beat it for 5 ‘with a hand mixer to whiten it well and not smell.
Add the egg yolks to the egg whites and add the soda. Beat for 5 minutes to flatten the mixture well. Pour 2/3 of the flour to make it thick. Oil the hands and add the remaining flour (little by little). Knead until the dough sticks to the hands. Cover and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. Roll out a very thin sheet of rolling pin on a floured surface.
Cut into oblong pieces, about 20 × 15 cm. After removing all the dumplings (leave them on a towel spread out until they are ready), heat the oil in a pan. Pour in one by one.
As soon as they form bubbles on the surface, after 30 seconds, roll them together with the help of 2 forks. Allow them to get a little brown color. Put them on absorbent paper to drain.
For the syrup
Dilute the honey with 1 cup of water and cover the dough with care to blend it all. Sprinkle with walnuts, cloves, and cinnamon.
BAKERIES WITH CHRISTMAS SWEETS IN SKOPELOS
Skopelos is an earthly gastronomic paradise. During the Christmas season, you will enjoy delicious sugared buns (kourampiedes), delicious melomakarona, and crisp dumplings.
Apart from the classic Christmas sweets, you can enjoy wonderful traditional delicacies such as chamalia, rosédes, and spoon sweets.
We suggest the following bakeries – pastries for traditional Christmas sweets of Skopelos.
- Kochilis Bakery, Chora Skopelos, Tel: +30 24240 23473
- Gkika Cafe Patisserie Bakery, Chora Skopelos, Tel: +30 24240 22926
- Ambrosia Traditional Homemade Sweet, Chora Skopelos, Tel: +30 24240 24363
- Karvelis Bakery, Neo Klima – Elios Skopelos, Tel: +30 24240 34192
- Kyra – Leni, Glossa Skopelos, Tel: +30 24240 33688
WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR
Skopelos.com – Skopelos Blog