Steeped in age old legends and traditions, the magic land of the Centaurus is enthralling in any season. But when the snow and festive season arrives, the mountain and the sea blend together under a white blanket; and the landscape metamorphosizes into a picture perfect and winter wonderland: Sugar frosted pine trees; crisp, clear atmosphere; smoke wafting gently out of chimney tops; the smell of cookies and pastries permeating the air; rosy cheeked children flushed with anticipation of the upcoming festivities… Indeed Christmas in Pelion is an unforgettable experience, as here, the Yuletide spirit finds a most abundant, all senses expression.
The 12 days of Christmas in Pelion
Meticulously observed by the locals -and perhaps some lucky visitors too- at the epicenter of the 12 days of Christmas in Pelion lie several time honored customs and traditions. Amongst the most famous and well know is the “feeding of the water fountain”: On Christmas and New Year’s Eves, girls get up at dawn and head towards their village’s nearest water fountain, in order to “steal” the “silent water” (so called because they are forbidden to speak throughout the duration of their mission). The girl that manages to get there first is believed to have ample luck in the forthcoming year. The ritual then involves the girls “feeding” the fountain with butter and honey, bread and cheese and olive branches, as they wish for good luck in abundance. Subsequently they collect (i.e. “steal”) some water from the fountain and bring it back home. They remain silent until they drink from this water; with which they also spray their houses for good luck.
Rooted in pagan beliefs, another distinctive, regional custom is the “marriage of the fire”: Upon their return from church service on Christmas Eve, girls place some cedars’ twigs next to the burning fireplace; whilst the boys accordingly, put their own wild cherry sprigs next to the fire. These branchlets symbolize their wishes and desires; so then they all sit together and observe which of the twigs burns first. This bids well for its owner; for it is said that she or he will be the first one to marry.
Hailing from the depths of time, the “night carols” is one more traditional practice taking place on Epiphany’s Eve. They are sung by a selected team of older boys, who stay up all night, visiting each household in the parish. In this night version, carols are in fact tailor made, to personally address (and often tease) each different recipient.
But what would the holidays be like without their culinary wonders? Traditionally Christmas in Pelion means home baked, honey and cinnamon filled melomakarona, almond based kourabiedes, and baklava with walnuts. On Christmas Day the whole family gathers around the table to feast on chicken soup and pork. The delights of the palate complement the joyous family reunion. After all Christmas universally is all about giving, caring and sharing; and this corner of the world is no exception.
Action packed days during Christmas in Pelion
Yet Christmas in Pelion offers even more than an iconic scenery, some distinctively quaint, century old, customs and manifold gastronomic pleasures.
To give you a hint, how would you fancy a bit of skiing with a view of the Aegean? The ski resort in Agriolefkes, at 1,470 m, boasts four advanced pistes and one for beginners; as well as a cosy après-ski facility. It is also the only ski resort in the country-if not in the world- which overlooks the sea, for extra inspiration on the slopes.
And if you’re a nature lover of any kind, then Pilion’s dense network of trails and paths is just the thing for you. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a mere beginner, you’ll no doubt enjoy unearthing the secrets of this glorious land as you trek through olive groves, forests, ravines, picturesque chapels and delightful little villages with snow capped roofs.
Cocooning during Christmas in Pelion
Of course at the end of your action-packed days, you’d be probably yearning for your very own haven of serenity and calm. Look no further than Pelion Homes, for this is exactly what we provide to our guests and friends.
Spurred by love for this little slice of heaven of earth, architect Stathis Kataropoulos created a collection of seven autonomous, luxury residences, at one of Pelion’s most picturesque, charming villages, Agios Giorgios Nilias.
Though the villas vary in terms of aesthetic, size and design to suit different party sizes and accommodation needs; with due respect to the local architecture and landscape, all are harmoniously synced with the surrounding environment.
Yet much more than your –stylish, state of the art– home away from home, Pelion Homes constitute an innovative social and residential proposal; a cocooned community if you will; aiming to foster interpersonal communication and cultural exchange.
So apart from high level hospitality, Pelion Homes also offer a plethora of novel travel experiences to their residents, including creative seminars, off the beaten track excursions and yoga retreats.
This means that should you wish, you’ll surely have plenty to do; not to mention meeting and socializing with kindred spirits! But then again you may simply select to enjoy some fun, leisurely days with your friends and family.
With the holiday season fast approaching why not follow the lead of the Olympians, who systematically chose it for their vacations, and opt to spend this Christmas in Pelion? Just picture baking the -de rigueur- kourabiedes and melomakarona at your modern kitchen of Pelion Homes; or playing chess and board games in front of the cozy fireplace; perhaps even simply relishing a cup of tea-or some fortifying brandy- tucked up in your comfy sofa at your Pelion Homes stylish living room….The options are vast and varied; Plus you may rest assured that the Pelion Homes owners always come up with some excellent, fresh ideas, to transform your stay into a forever cherished experience!