Have a good time the New Yr in Conventional Greek Fashion

Greeks smash pomegranates as part of a traditional New Year celebration. Photo credit: Joergens.mi / Wikimedia commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Celebrations for the New Year can be found in countless cultures around the world, and Greece is no different. There are many unique traditions to celebrate the country’s New Year.

Fireworks shows

Fireworks are an integral part of the New Year celebrations in many countries. The breathtaking plays of light and color are even more impressive and impressive in Greece, which is full of natural wonders Archaeological Pages.

Grecian Delight supports Greece

On New Year’s Eve, glitter and magic shows light up the skies across the country in many towns and villages. The spectacles vary from city to city, but they are all great to watch.

Greek New Year Cake or Vasilopita

January is the New Year as well as the feast day of Greek Orthodox Saint Basil. In honor of the New Year and St. Basil’s Day, the Greeks bake a coin in a New Year cake called “Vasilopita”.

The delicious cake is cut into slices and served. The first cut goes to Jesus, the rest to the family – Greeks even cut slices for family members who are not present, as well as one for “the house”.

Whoever receives the lucky piece with the coin baked in it should be lucky for the coming year.

Christmas carols bring happiness to your home

Caroling is not just a Christmas tradition in Greece. Carolers also play triangles and sing Christmas carols or “Kalanda” while visiting the homes in their neighborhood for the new year.

It is customary to give money to the children when they come to your home. The songs are supposed to bless your house for the new year and are therefore considered a good luck charm if a Christmas singer visits you. This is a very old tradition that lives on across the country!

Playing cards

Happiness and New Years go hand in hand, and doing something that might attract even more happiness, like playing games, is something no Greek would ever say no to. Betting is humble and symbolic, the idea is to get something out of nowhere, a real metaphor for luck!

Even with limited amounts, the enthusiasm is great and the games usually last all night, even in cafes and pubs. People in Greece also often play board games, dice, and the lottery. It is even common to give away lottery tickets to friends on New Year’s Eve.

Another place at the table

As expected, Greeks usually celebrate the New Year with a delicious feast. It is common to invite friends and family over to your home and serve a delicious meal before heading out to celebrate the year ahead.

As a symbolic ritual that is closely related to legendary Greek hospitality, many households place an additional free space at the New Year’s table so that there is always a place at the table for every newcomer.

Smashing pomegranates, a Greek New Year celebration

Hanging a large, juicy pomegranate over the front door is a typical Greek ritual that takes place on New Year’s Eve.

Traditionally, the family leaves the house a few minutes before midnight. Shortly after midnight, a particularly happy family member (usually a child) is the first to enter the house again by stepping in with their right foot.

This happy “first footer” will be responsible for bringing happiness to all residents of the house for the rest of the year.

While the “first footer” enters the house, another family member grabs the pomegranate with his right hand and hits it against the door, so that as many seeds as possible fly through the room.

Tradition has it that the more seeds that fall on the floor, the more happiness it will bring to the house.

Leisure-filled Outside Fest replaces conventional banquet as Viking Sportsmen’s huge fundraiser

In place of the traditional banquet that has been going on for more than 30 years, the last Saturday in July at the Alexandria Shooting Park, the Viking Sportsmen are offering a variety of ticket packages to attend their very first outdoor festival. It’s a day of fun for people in the outdoors, and the idea came from the Viking athletes who had to cancel their annual banquet due to the 2020 pandemic.

Questions remained in the 2021 banquet season, which for outdoor organizations usually takes place in spring. Could the Viking athletes hold an indoor banquet while the pandemic continues? If so, with what capacity?

“At one point during the talks, I believe we were limited to less than 100 people, and in a typical year the banquet takes about 300 people,” said Chris Kleine, president of Viking Sportsmen. “It started as an idea when some of us were standing around after one of our board meetings. It definitely wasn’t broken, but after 35 years of banquet it was time to check out something else. We take a leap of faith and commit to thinking outside the box and putting together an event that can attract 3-4 times or more than our traditional audience, which equates to extra dollars and a much greater impact in our local communities. ”

Ticket package costs range from $ 20 for a single entry ticket to a platinum package of $ 1,000 (valued at $ 1,500) for a group of 10 people. There are several options between these prices for individuals or groups.

The money from this event will go towards projects such as the annual Youth Outdoor Activity Day (which is scheduled for August 29th this year), wild fodder plots (over 100 acres planted in 2020), pikeperch, brown and rainbow trout stocking programs and financial Support will be used for archery, traps, and fishing teams of the 206 District, along with the local Let’s Go Fishing chapter, which helps seniors get outdoors through fishing and sightseeing tours of the lakes in the area.

Outdoor Fest offers a full day of activities. It starts at 10 a.m. when the gates open. A trap shooting tournament starts at 11:00 AM. There are food stalls, a bar (Depot Express and Carlos Creek Winery), 3D archery, and raffles with over 30 weapons and other prizes.

The afternoon includes a beanbag tournament, live entertainment, a general raffle and a silent auction. Live music by the band Coyote Wild plays from 7-10 p.m.

Kleine said the committee had discussed at length how the event would be carried out with shooting sports and liquor in the park.

“We follow instructions from Tom (Townsend), the owner of Alexandria Shooting Park,” said Kleine. “He said: ‘We have already been served alcohol at events like this, and there is a zero tolerance policy.’ If you consume alcohol, do not take part in the (shooting) events. This also included scheduling. The trap tournament starts at 11 a.m. The food stalls, the bar, they don’t open until noon. That was the idea of ​​getting it going in the morning so that people don’t sit around until 3 or 4 in the afternoon. ”

Hosting such an event as the primary fundraiser for the year took a lot of work and taking some risk with the amount of money the group invested in the day. Kleine said Alomere Health and Bell Bank both came to Viking Sportsmen to help sponsor the event.

The board members of the Viking Sportsmen hope that the Outdoor Fest will be well attended and that the group will continue to serve the community in the future. Kleine said they haven’t seen a large number of ticket sales yet, but he hopes that will change in the past few weeks as the group marketed the outdoor festival in more avenues.

“We have devoted significant resources to making sure we are putting together a good product,” said Kleine. “Our committee members are in rags, have reached out to the vendors, made sure we have entertainment and a stage, organized trap and beanbag tournaments, and procured rubbish and toilet bins.

“All of this is happening as we also prepare for Youth Outdoor Activity Day less than a month later, which draws around 4,000 people to the same place. We would be very happy to continue this event and hope that it will be a success and grow from year to year. We have received a lot of positive feedback from people who are burned out through traditional fundraising mechanisms. Now is the time to see what kind of reaction we get. “

Information about the outdoor festival

For ticket packages, as well as a full schedule and additional information on the Viking Sportsmen’s very first outdoor festival, please visit www.vikingsportsmen.org. Contact Chris Kleine at (320) 491-4135 or Tim Olson at (320) 766-2650 with questions.