Christmas in Greece can be very special. It might not be a white Christmas, but sunny weather in December definitely has its perks. The Christmas table is too much to handle but overwhelmingly delicious and family is what Greek Christmas is all about.
What do Greeks say, though, to wish someone a Merry Christmas?Here are some commonly-used holiday greetings that will come in handy whenever you decide to celebrate Christmas in Greece or around a Greek table.
Καλά Χριστούγεννα. Kala Cristouyenna means Merry Christmas and comes from the words kalos (good) and Cristouyenna, a compound noun made of the words Christos (Christ) and yenna (birth). Although even Greeks misuse it, this greeting is supposed to be used before Christmas, when Christmas is approaching and not on Christmas Day or after.
Χρόνια Πολλά. Hronia Polla is what you would use on Christmas Day or on the days that follow. It is basically a wish for many years of good health and prosperity and is generally used in Greek on various other occasions as well, such as birthdays, name days and religious celebrations.
Καλή Πρωτοχρονιά. Kali Protohronia just like Kala Hristouyenna is supposed to be used after Christmas and before New Year’s Day. It basically means “have a good new year’s day”. When the New Year has arrived and it is officially New Year’s day, Greeks say…
Καλή Χρονιά. Kali Hronia is a greeting that you hear everywhere around you in Greece for the whole month of January. It is once again a wish for a good new year full of good health, luck and prosperity for everybody.
Now you have the basics down to spend Christmas in Greece or around Greeks. Remember! Never say no to food, maybe bring a dessert when you are invented in someone’s house and when it’s the first couple of days after New Year’s Day always enter houses right foot first! Χρόνια Πολλά και Καλή Χρονιά με υγεία!
Learn more wishes in Greek below: