Photographer's Note

A detail from the harbour of Ayia Marina.


In recent years, some Greeks have revived an ancient symbol, the Christmas ship. Greece has been a seafaring nation since ancient times. The history of shipping is filled with unpleasant stories of ships being lost at sea due to adverse weather conditions, especially in the wintertime. During the Christmas season, Greek people used to decorate a toy-sized boat, lit up by an oil lamp burning away until the day of Epiphany, the 6th of January). Children carried a decorated ship around the village singing the traditional Greek Christmas carols.

In the wake of globalized traditions, the ship is revived throughout Greece. as a Christmas symbol. It appears in the main squares of most towns, as well as shop windows and private homes and gardens. In 1999, Greece’s second biggest city, Thessaloniki, introduced a huge, illuminated metal structure in the shape of a three-mast ship next to the Christmas tree in its main Aristotelous Square. Many other towns followed this example.

Thank you for visiting, a very Merry Christmas to all

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Additional Photos by Ourania Karali (ourania) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4869 W: 13 N: 10027] (51103)
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