It’s a lovely part of Christmas – nativity scenes in Crete, that each of the villages sets out a nativity scene.
Nativity scenes in villages around Panokosmos
Normally in the central square, usually opposite the village kafenion, Joseph and Mary are standing under a tent,
with the babe in a cradle, with shepherds and sometimes graced by the presence of wise men!
At Armenoi, set opposite the kafenion and next door to the famous White Boots Butcher, we think there is a donkey there amidst the sheep surrounding the crib!
Here there are angels, cast ephemerally in the shadows
We’ve loved, over the years, collecting pictures of these in our local villages.
These days they are normally aglow with inner light! Sometimes a bit more two dimensional, but all created and presented with love.
Christmas decoration traditions in Greece
Apart from the Christmas nativity scenes in Crete, there’s a tradition of sailing boat decorations in Greece.
A debate rages over whether this is the traditional emblem, supplanted by the “foreign” Christmas tree, which came with the Bavarian King Otto in 1833.
There is evidence that Christwood, the decorating of houses with fronds from evergreen trees dates back to at least Byzantine times, and there are plenty of firs, particularly in the northern Greek mainland.
But maybe best is to take the route of Thessaloniki, and have both Christmas tree and sailing boat! Both when decorated are very festive, and whichever is a lovely tradition.
And if all else fails, there are always angels
Chania at Christmas is a feast of illuminations
To find out more about Chania, turn to the best website covering West Crete
We live in the Apokoronas at Panokosmos, where we run a small holiday suites business. Wherever you stay you might like to look at our blogs which show things to do in Crete, whether it be walking a gorge, hiking in the foothills of the White Mountains,
or taking a drive to see the sites. Chania is a great town to visit, particularly to go to the street markets, and of course you’ll want to get the benefits of the Cretan diet – be it the yoghurt and cheese, or the olive oil