We Cretans choose to live each moment to the fullest; so with the Christmas holidays just around the corner we are once more, getting ready to celebrate with loads of fervour, gusto and zest.
Granted Crete’s former capital, second largest and arguably most picturesque city, Chania, a couple of kilometres from our Oscar Suites & Village at the seaside Agia Marina- Platanias, is not your typical “Rovaniemi-esque”, destination. Yet it does proffer an amazing, magical (and somewhat unconventional ) “Christmassy” experience. For new customs and old traditions seamlessly blend during Christmas in Chania. This is what makes a world of difference and we can not help but feel excited and super eager to join the festivities.
On the one hand we have all the staples found throughout the Western world: Impressive Christmas trees, gift laden shops and countless, twinkling lights, indeed creating a majestic, fairy tale-like scenery during Christmas in Chania. But on the other hand -honoring our considerable nautical legacy– we also have the beautifully adorned wooden model ships: This is in accordance to an age old Greek custom that remains alive in the islands and which symbolises a family’s gratitude to the deities for the safe return of the father and his sons from their voyages into the harsh Aegean sea.
Not-to-be-missed things to do during Christmas in Chania
So during Christmas in Chania, local and imported traditions are amalgamated, making this magical time even more special. Among the not-to-be-missed things to do throughout the festive season are:
- Attending the traditional Christmas carols on Christmas and New Year’s Eve, at the majestic municipal market.
- Engaging in some last minute shopping for gifts from the various bazaars set up on the market’s square.
- Riding the carousel and train at the park, and doing some ice skating on the rink in the Stadium.
- Taking long strolls in the Venetian harbour and visiting the KAM foundation (Center of Mediterranean Architecture) where there is always something exciting to see or do: From musical concerts, to theatrical plays, art exhibitions or parties, a potent mix of entertainment and culture is on the agenda.
- Participating in the annual Santa Run: Without doubt the highlight of the festivities of Christmas in Chania, this is a fun, charitable event-a parody, if you will – of the famous Santa Run held in various cities of the world every December, whereby participants traipse through the city streets wearing Santa Claus costumes. In Chania’s Santa Run official timing and medals do not exist. Everybody is a winner as money raised through participations is offered to children with health issues. This year the 8th Santa Run Chania edition shall take place on Saturday 26th of December; and organisers are hoping to raise 100.000 euros for the children in need. Even if running (or walking anyways) is not your cup of tea, we strongly suggest that you follow our lead. Along the route there’ll be various treats from several shops and stores, as well as animating DJ sets. The whole thing culminates into a huge party, in which the entire town partakes. This is guaranteed to put you into a jolly, festive mood, so make sure not to miss out!
- Experiencing the transcendental by attending the Mass on Christmas Eve at the cave of St. John the Hermit. The Divine liturgy here is combined with a traditional representation of the birth of Christ in the manger with real animals brought by local farmers. Bonfires are lit, chimes and bells ring joyfully and a big star shines from the top of the cave. It is a truly magical spectacle that attracts thousands of people. Make sure to dress warm though!
Season’s greetings to all of our friends from Oscar Suites & Village
As we are getting ready to savor the delights of Christmas in Chania, we would like to take a moment to wish every single of our guests and friends a very merry Christmas and a happy, enjoyable and fulfilling New Year. It was a pleasure to have you with us at Oscar Suites & Village and we are looking forward to welcoming you back again in the summer of 2019. Seeing you enjoying your holidays at our comfortable and stylish studios, apartments & suites; catching the sun rays in our pools, and savouring the gastronomic offerings of our Valentino pasta & grill restaurant, makes our efforts worthwhile and gives us inspiration to try even harder. In fact we have a host of exciting surprises in store for the coming season. Stay tuned!