CRETAN CHRISTMAS: SNOW AND PALM TREES
While walking through the streets of Chania these days, you will find it impossible not to realise which holiday is coming up. On the square, right outside the market hall, there is a huge christmas tree and lights everywhere. The streets downtown are lit up with stars and other christmas decorations, and there is probably not a single store without christmas decorations in their windows.
Few Cretan families have strong christmas traditions, but they are adopting more and more traditions from the western world every year. Most houses will have a nicely decorated Christmas tree in their living rooms, and you will observe lights, reindeers and santa clauses on their balconies and in their gardens. Roasted pork or lamb, accompanied with salads, potatoes, traditional tzatziki or spicy cheese salad, kaltsounia (spinach- and cheese pie), filled wine leaves and many other delicious temptations are usually found on the table on Christmas Eve. After dinner, the youngest members of the family usually gather up in groups to go from house to house to sing the “Kalanda”, carols, in order to welcome the holidays, where they get coins or candy from the ones opening the doors on their round.
There is always a possibility of spending your christmas holidays in Crete and still getting that white christmas. Head for the mountains! You will experience that the snow is just a short drive away. Make a stop along the way, pick a tavern, sit by the fireplace and enjoy the specialities of the village you chose. Do like the Greeks do – make a snowman – place it on top of the front window of your car! Bring it with you downtown, but be careful not to lose it in a quick turn along your way back!
It sounds incredible, but what about going to the beach? We do have some days of heavy rain here during the winter period, but the truth is that there are more sunny and warm days, than cold and rainy days. The sea temperature is stabile throughout the winter, and even during February, which is the coldest month of the year in Chania, the sea will not crawl below 18 degrees celsius. So why not go for a swim in the morning, before you bring your family up to the snowy mountains for your yearly christmas photo or cross country skiing? I would be lying if I told you Crete doesn’t have everything, because I really believe it does.
Oscar Suites & Village wishes you a merry christmas.
May your christmas be filled with love, laughter, delicious food and good wine!