To put it bluntly: I am a mutt.I know for certain that my family tree holds ancestors of Greek, French, German, Irish, and Italian origin.I say "for certain," because my grandmother on my mother's side was orphaned as a child, leaving her ethnic background up to many familial debates.However, it is my Greek heritage that is closest to me (my father was born there), and the one that has impacted my life most.I am completely enveloped in the culture, and practice many of its traditions, which I am all to eager to provide.I hope that you will find these particular traditions interesting, as well as somewhat entertaining.
Thefirst true tradition I can remember being passed down to me is a Christmas tradition.I was very young and my grandmother recounted for me why our fireplaces continually burn during the season, and simultaneously, one of the most humorous Greek folk legends: the legend of the “kalikantzaroi."The kalikantzaroi are tiny little creatures that look like elves. They live in the depths of the earth where their mission is to chop at a huge tree trunk that is the earth’s foundation. They work all year round to accomplish this. Yet, when they are just about to complete their task, Christmas day arrives and they surface on earth for twelve days (from December 25 through January 6). During their visit they create havoc and play tricks on people. As a matter of fact, if anything unexplainable happens during those twelve days, the Greeks blame these creatures. Many leave their fireplace on for the duration of the twelve days to prevent the creatures from entering their house (they usually come in through the chimney). The “kalikantzaroi” are afraid of fire, light, the cross, and holy water. For this reason, they disappear on the day of Epiphany when all the waters are blessed. However, when they return to the depths of the earth, they find the earth’s tree trunk completely restored, due to …