On the last day of the year, the inhabitants of Greece listen to the carols about St. Basil.
In the morning, on the streets of Athens, one could see companies of children in festive attire. Going around houses and still open institutions and banks, the children sang New Year’s carols to the accompaniment of a tambourine or triangle, hoping in return for a small reward.
In carols it is sung about Saint Basil (that is what the New Year saint is called in Greece), who comes from Caesar in Asia Minor with gifts on the first day of the new month and year.
“The guys came to me several times, in the end I ended up with a trifle,” a resident of one of the Athenian suburbs told RIA Novosti.
With the last carols, she got out of the situation by exchanging a banknote of 20 euros for three “fives.”
“Five euros for carols is a bit much, but it will do for the New Year,” says the housewife.
Traditionally, carols in Greece are accepted by everyone – from ordinary residents to prominent politicians and public figures of the country.
In particular, the Prime Minister of Greece, Costas Karamanlis, received at his residence carols from the society of Pontians (Black Sea Greeks) and the community association of the island of Kastelorizo in the extreme east of the Aegean. He personally presented each carol and the journalists present with special talismans called “guri”, which, according to Greek tradition, bring good luck.
The head of the Greek Orthodox Church, Archbishop Christodoulos, who suffers from a severe form of cancer, listened to the carols a few days earlier, at Christmas, and on New Year’s Eve he hosted a group of journalists and exchanged New Year’s wishes with them.
The traditional cutting of the pie in the building of the synod of the Church of Greece with the wish of good luck for the New Year took place for the first time without the participation of the archbishop, who is undergoing intravenous chemotherapy in his house.
On the last day of the outgoing year, the carols were also sung on the island of Crete. The Chania City Police Association decided to surprise the local police chief and sang carols with a list of very specific wishes for next year, according to the Athens News Agency.
According to the agency, the police want, first of all, that their units be understaffed, because the lack of personnel exceeds one third of the planned personnel, and almost every police officer has to work for two. The police authorities promised to listen to these requirements.