Friday, January 02, 2009

New Year celebrations

In Greece, New Year's Eve is the biggest party night of the year and the biggest celebration of the Christmas & New Year holiday season. Most people spend New Year's Eve with their friends and relatives, and a typical celebration would include a sit-down meal at 9:00 PM, followed by a variety of desserts. Then at midnight, the lights go off for 30 seconds and the new year is welcomed in with lights, fireworks, singing and merriment, after a brief countdown. Once everyone's kissed and hugged and had some champagne, and the kids opened their presents, the host or hostess cuts a special cake which contains a lucky charm (usually a coin). The person who finds the charm in his or her piece will have good luck for the whole year. For additional luck, people then play card games, whilst the younger and more resilient go clubbing until the early hours.

I regret to say that it's been a long, long time since I considered 2 AM an acceptable time to be going clubbing, so card games (and blogging) it was for me.

These are some pictures from our family celebration.

Our Christmas tree.

Lots and lots of lovely food.

Yes, we managed to eat it all!

At midnight, we cut the New Year cake.

Everyone got a piece, but there was only one coin (and it wasn't in my piece). Sniff.

Lots more cake at the table.

Some of us were more interested in presents than cake!

The best thing about the New Year's Eve celebrations is that there's so much leftover food, there's no need to cook at all on the first day of the new year. This photo was taken the next day (1st January 09) at lunchtime :-)


GMG said...

Hi Tinsie! See you survived the food and the champagne, and entered 2009 in great shape! ;))
Happy New Year!

Blogtrotter will be posting on Delhi the next weeks; lots to see… Hope you like it and wish you a great weekend!

Mediterranean kiwi said...

oh tinsie, so much food, and such GOOD Greek food! my family is too small to get together like this, but i remember these kinds of get togethers in New Zealand - greeks celebrate like this overseas, and there was always so much food, the dishes resembled the ones on your table - thanks for sharing this event
(we have snow in the LEFKA ORI, but not in the town - thankfully...)

Tinsie said...

@ GMG: The celebrations haven't finished yet, but I'm doing my best to keep going ;-)

@ Mediterranean Kiwi: We tried celebrating like this in England a few years back, but it wasn't the same. We managed OK on the food front, but we couldn't get enough people together to create a good buzz. Plus it's hard to get excited about cutting the vassilopita when you've never had it before. So now we try to come to Greece for new year if poss :-)

pinkstilettos said...

Well, it looks like you all had a great time! Lots of yummy food! Have a happy new year. Daisy~

Ropi said...

Happy New Year! You had a lot food.

Tinsie said...

@ Daisy & Ropi: There was a lot of food indeed! Happy new year to you too :-)

DianeCA said...

Wow the food looks absolutely wonderful! I love greek food!! It looks more like one wouldn't have to cook for a week though ;-) It sounds like a really great way to celebrate the New Year!

Per Stromsjo said...

It certainly doesn't look like any of you went to bed hungry. Neither did I although I prefer to keep the holidays on a slightly lower key these days.

JM said...

The New Year cake looks so delicious! Yummy!... :-)

Betty C. said...

Well, this looks just lovely -- it kind of reminds me of family Christmas celebrations in the USA.

Happy New Year Tinsie if I haven't said so yet! I can't remember...

Tinsie said...

@ DianeCA: Nah, we had to cook again only two days later!

@ Per Stromsjo: Believe me, this was pretty low key by Greek standards. But you're right, we certainly didn't go to bed hungry.

@ JM: I must say, it was pretty good.

@ Betty: Indeed, it's a similar kind of celebration, with lots of food, people and presents :-)

Happy new year!

Anonymous said...

Dear 'Tinsie',

let me use this blog as an opportunity to wish you a very happy new year!! good luck for 2009
Sandi x

Karen said...

Looks heavenly! Would have loved to have been there, looking at the snow and eating the food with you. :-)

Fifi Flowers said...

EVERYTHING looks YUMMY! Happy New Year with or without the coin!

Tinsie said...

@ Sandi: Happy new year to you - and happy birthday too!

@ Karen: Only if the Monkey comes with you ;-)

@ Fifi: Thanks, Fifi, same to you!