Why Greeks traditionally decorate a boat instead of a Christmas Tree

The true origin of a tradition

To Karavaki

The most traditional symbol you will find in Greece during the holidays is a small boat decorated with lights, usually placed in the main square of a town and close to the more international Christmas tree.

To karavaki, or small boat is rooted in the traditions of a country with a symbiotic relationship with the sea. In fact, on the many Greek islands the Christmas boats remain the most popular ornament of the holiday season.

Agios Nikolaos

Different legends explain the tradition of the Christmas Greek boat. One of them is related to Saint Nicholas (Agios Nikolaos), the Patron Saint of Sailors.

This saint is celebrated on December 6, the day when many households start decorating their houses for Christmas. Some agree that this is why boats are decorated, in order to honor the saint.

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