New Year’s Customs

In Samothrace, on New Year’s Eve, it is retained the New Year’s custom: all houses have honey with walnuts and donuts. Shortly before the year changes, all family members gather by the fireplace and throw dried olive leaves on the coals, making wishes for the New Year. According to tradition, if the olive leaf overturns, the wish will come true.

Instead of a New Year’s cake, as happens throughout Greece, the New Year’s custom in some parts of Evros, commands that the family makes a pie, which, instead of a coin, inside has many other small items, such as a twig, a raisin, etc. Each one takes a piece and according to the item that he finds in, he becomes responsible for the equivalent task for the year that comes. The meaning of this New Year’s custom used to be literal in the past, when homes looked after for their sufficiency and each one had his role.

In Alexandroupolis, the New Year’s Eve braziers have been established as a New Year’s custom, although they have been set up in recent years. Many shops in the city, as well as citizens outside their houses, set up braziers and grill meat on impromptu barbecues. Groups gather in the street and the entire city celebrates the coming of the New Year.

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