Mykonos in all its fine glory in the summer with its brilliant blue and pure white landscape remains an enticing and tranquil location to celebrate Christmas and toast in the New Year. Just like the rest of Greece, Mykonians, known for their easygoing attitude and warm hospitality uphold old traditions and religious celebrations, sharing their local customs and homemade culinary delicacies with families, neighbors and visitors to the island.
Christmas and New Year are no exception. ‘Melomakarona’ (honey cookies) and ‘Kourabiedes’ (sugar coated cookies) decorate the windows of confectioners and most family tables, while ‘Diples,’ another popular festive dessert made from thin strips of fried dough dipped in honey and ‘Christopsomo’ (a sweet bread decorated with walnuts) add to the wonderful flavor of Christmas.
For visitors who are fortunate to be staying on Mykonos over the New Year, there are a number of special activities to participate in too. Besides listening to the local folk musicians and children singing the traditional carol from door to door in the villages and town on New Year’s Eve, there are lovely chapel services to attend in the evening where firework displays can be seen as the old year is brought to an end. At midnight, there are huge celebrations all over the country as Greek communities toast in the New Year.
Over Christmas and New Year, some restaurants in Mykonos town offer a seasonal menu which reflects a variety of delicious Greek culinary delights. There are traditional succulent roasts such as lamb and turkey filled with sage and onion stuffing and fine local wines all served in a lovely warm festive atmosphere.
On New Year’s Eve, bakeries produce a special bread; Vasilopita where a coin is baked inside to bring good luck to the person who finds it in their piece of bread.
On January 6th when Epiphany day falls, local priests conduct the ancient ceremony of blessing the waters by hurling a crucifix into the ocean. Young men from the villages dive into the freezing waters to retrieve the cross and local fishermen bring their boats to be blessed by the priest. This is indeed an amazing and interesting sight to see as the ceremony depicts a significant part of the national culture and is held throughout Greece.
With all these wonderful festivities in mind, where better to experience the winter holiday season than on Mykonos? However, for travelers who want to explore the island in more detail, there are still ideal opportunities to experience the quieter life of the coastal villages, to take hikes over the isolated hills and mountains, to walk around the winding streets of Little Venice, Mykonos town which is enchanting in the evenings, to visit old monasteries and wonder at the archaeology or even take a swim under the clear blue sky as temperatures are still usually mild until mid January.
This is just a taste of things to come at Mykonos in its festive season. For any lover of Greece, visiting Mykonos at any time of the year is a sheer delight. It’s an island of intense elements of tradition and culture; there’s no place like it in the world and we welcome you to experience its wonders first-hand.>