8 Jan 2016
Athens by Night | New Year Eve & 1st of January in Athens
How can one squeeze 2500 years into one sentence.
Ancient Greece is called 'the birthplace of Western civilization'. About 2500 years ago, the Greeks created a way of life that other people admired and copied. The Romans copied Greek art and Greek gods, for example. The Ancient Greeks tried out democracy, started the Olympic Games and left new ideas in science, art and philosophy.
And here I am, admiring it once more ...
I've decided last minute to have a city break in Athens. When will it be the best moment? New Year Eve. Said and done! Booked last minute flights, called the friends, and organized the night out!
They say that even in full recession, the nightlife of Athens rivals the one in New York, Paris and London. You can only imagine how would it be without economical problems.
So, here I am landing in Athens, preparing for the night out (Live Greek Music), had a yummy Greek dinner and there you go...
Good luck, good health, prosperity and longevity!! are the best and most common wishes marking the first day of the New Year among family members, and friends. Traditions around the New Year’s Eve and January the 1st symbolize the eternal longing of humankind for joy and good fortune, and Greece has its own unique traditions pledged around these two days, aiming to cast away evil spirits and bring lots of good fortune and blessings into the lives of the people. The one that I have followed was ‘Smashing the Pomegranate’; Olympic Air was nice enough to provide one for each passenger. What the pomegranate stands for? : ‘An ancient symbol of fertility, regeneration and prosperity, Greek housewives hang the pomegranate on or above their doors throughout the 12 days of Christmas. Right before midnight comes on New Year’s Eve, all family members get out of the house and the lights are shut down to let go of the old year. Once the clock strikes twelve, someone considered to be lucky and happy must roll the fruit against the door of the house to smash and reveal its red seeds as a sign of welcoming the New Year and breaking loose its positive prospects. The more seeds scattered on the floor, the luckier the year will be.‘ And that was exactly how I did it.
Athens at night becomes a different city. Equally fascinating, lively and exciting - but different for each one of us. As soon as the sun sets, the Greek capital transforms. The stars come out, the lights come on, and the city cheers up, offering something special for everyone, with every kind of food, fun and entertainment imaginable. It’s a city that has it all - as long as you know where to look for. At night, everyone has their own Athens, their own routes and their own destinations.
About my bouzouki delight night … I can only say that was exactly how I’ve imagined and it brought me the exact amount of joy and happiness that I badly needed.
Club 22 , the talented Panos Kiamos, and Aggeliki Illiadi was the sensation of the night, together with the rest of the artists indeed. The best time to reserve a table will be a week or two prior attending and prices start can start from 200 Euros the bottle of spirits. Be prepared to stay up all night, ‘Greek Gods’ are singing ‘till sunrise. Live Greek Music places open up around 11- 12 PM and goes until 6-7 AM, by the time you go out of there, the sunshine is so strong, that you don’t really feel like going to sleep, you just wanna keep going.. J If you wondering where to dance: anything goes, near your table, on top of your chair, on top of the table or even on the stage. Flowers will usually fly around you as a tradition, available to buy for 25 Euros per basket. Make sure you eat before going to bouzouki as the times they were serving food inside are long gone. Now, expect nuts, fruits and raw veggies (nothing wrong with it) and of course everybody is allowed to smoke.
Dress etiquette?! Dresses to impress my dear friends, cause Greeks becomes very fussy when it comes of bouzouki nights.
1st of January?! Was fenomenal. In most of the countries we are all used for no one to be on the streets! Well not in Athens! The city becomes alive by 12 AM. Restaurants of Plaka and Kolonaki becomes packed. If you haven't experienced the lamb on a spit yet then you must know that greeks 'have invented it' :) I had the most amazing day! Walking around Athens outdoor majour sites, I've come to believe that there exist something in the Universe, something Elizabeth Gilbert calls it
''The Physics of the Quest'':
"If you are brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting and set out on a truth-seeking journey, and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and if you are prepared – most of all – to face (and forgive) some very difficult realities about yourself... then truth will not be withheld from you."
From Athens with Love,