Celebrating Christmas and New Year in Mykonos

Winter in Mykonos is a wonderful time that brings on its own beautiful atmosphere. There is so much to discover at this time of the year, such as religious rituals, ancient customs revived, dancing, singing and tasting homemade culinary delicacies. Locals share their traditions with families, neighbors and visitors, spreading joy and kindness.

According to history, the Greek islanders worked for long periods of time at sea and their return was a reason for celebration. That’s why their families used to decorate wooden boats. To this day, the whitewashed streets are adorned with decorated boats for the festive season.

On Christmas and New Year’s Eve, one can listen to wandering folk musicians and see small groups of children running from door to door early in the morning, carrying little model boats and singing the carols. In the evening, locals attend services at the many lovely churches and chapels of the island. And as the old year retires and a new one is born, everyone is waiting for the fireworks to light up the sky.

Food, of course, plays an integral role in the celebrations. Sweet-toothed locals enjoy the sugar coated kourabiedes (cookies with almonds) or melomakarona (honey biscuits), while on New Year’s Eve, families gather around the Vasilopita, a traditional cake in which a coin has been placed to bring luck to whoever finds it in their piece. Many restaurants in Mykonos town also serve delicious Greek delights and fine local wines, in a warm, festive atmosphere!

On January 6, Epiphany is celebrated. On this day, the Blessing of the Waters takes place, where a priest throws a cross into the cold sea and some brave volunteers dive in to catch it. The first to retrieve the cross will have a lucky year. Epiphany is also a day of ceremonies, with traditional Greek music, dancing and treats.

Long story short, all these wonderful festivities, delicious dishes, and fascinating traditions, are great reasons to enjoy the last days of the year in Mykonos! For those who seek a quieter and different experience for the season, it is indeed a perfect destination.