Tag Archives: FamousHostels

Christmas Boats – Karavaki, a Greek Tradition

#AthenStyle #FamousHostels #Christmas2016

Have you ever wondered why in Greece at Christmas, we decorate boats?

The Christmas Boat (Karavaki- Little ship) is part of a very old Greek tradition. It comes from the Islands where each year children go door to door singing ‘kalanda’ (Christmas Carols) usually accompanied by instruments such as triangles, guitars, accordians and harmonicas. The children on the islands carry small wooden boats, either illuminated to light the way or with enough space to store treats given to them by the residents they sing for. Some claim that this custom’s roots are linked with the December 6th Celebration of Agios Nikolas (Saint Nicholas) who is the Patron Saint of Sailors in Greece.

The tradition also dates back hundreds of years when many Greeks were working as seamen. During Christmas time, when many were returning home after a long time at sea, their wives would celebrate by decorating small wooden boats as a way of saying welcome home.

This tradition has gradually spread inland with people all over the country beginning to decorate model wood or paper boats with lights and ornaments at Christmas time. Traditionally the boats are placed near the door or fire with the bow pointing inwards, this symbolises the boats making their journey towards the mainland. Sometimes coins or gold objects are also placed in the boats to symbolise riches entering ones home.

Surprisingly the Christmas Boat tradition has only become popular in the mainland in and around the last 30 years and is comparativley new compared to the Christmas tree. The reason for this is that the Greeks are aware that the Christmas tree is not traditonally part of their culture and was actually imported by their first king, Otto of Bavaria. They wanted to begin their own tradition using the boat, and by the number of people that seem to have taken up this tradition it has been very sucessful.

Here at our hostel in Athens we have decorated two boats to display in our window. But instead of welcoming seafarers we welcome our guests to spend Christmas with us, who will hopefully find a home away from home during the festive season :)

After all, in Greece we’re known to be travellers! Merry Christmas from the crew here at Athenstyle! x

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​How to make Tzatziki

#AthenStyle #FamousHostels #endlessummer

Tzatziki is one of the most famous Greek side dishes! Many say it goes with everything! The main place you’ll find it is inside the world known Gyros pitta, but also with many other Greek dishes.
Once you leave Greece, for sure it’s going to be one of the main things you’ll miss! So here we’re giving you the ingredients to make it at home, quick and easy!

Just take a good amount of traditional Greek yogurt, grate about 4 cucumbers, and add some garlic. Mix it up and keep refrigerated. That easy!
If you haven’t tried it yet, try it before your trip here, and for sure it’s going to be one of the dishes you will be awaiting to eat once you arrive!

Once you arrive in Athens, spend a few days to explore the city with all its ruins. The food in Athens represents a little bit of all of Greece! And of course, the most stylish and cheap hostel to stay in Athens is AthenStyle Hostel! Don’t forget that on it’s 6th floor it has a bar restaurant with a killer view of the Acropolis, and where you can of course have tzatziki! Book your stay at http://www.athenstyle.com

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Filed under all day cafe, Athens Food, Athenstyle culture, Uncategorized