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December 22, 2007

Who needs a golden ticket when you've got a golden florin?

New Years Eve appears to be enjoyed in a fairly similar way all the world over. Fireworks in the main square, people taking over the bars and streets, and generally having a good ol' time. Well, apart from all this, Greeks also have their last minute shopping to fit in. As the day for giving presents is New Years Day, rather than Christmas day, New Years Eve has a certain Christmas Eve about it. And while the adults are shopping frantically, the younger generation are, so I've read, causing chaos in the streets with mock 'wars' between each other. The weapons of choice are foam sprays, plastic hammers and whistles. Sounds pretty awful, unless you're 12, so I may give that a miss.

After the 'youths' have worn themselves out and the adults have...worn themselves out, friends and family meet up to see in the New Year together. The Vasilopita, the New Year Cake containing one gold 'florin', is served. Traditionally the first slice is cut for Christ, the second slice is for the house, and then the eldest member of the family is offered the next. Who ever finds the gold florin in their slice will have good luck in the coming year.

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