One of the top 20 tourist destinations worldwide, Greece is well known for its ancient civilization and breathtaking landscapes. People from all over the world come here to celebrate the most important events in their lives! Everything from weddings and honeymoons to birthdays to anniversaries is lovelier in Greece.
This vibrant country observes holidays with lavish parties that celebrate life and love. Join in and embrace the local festive spirit by sending a flower bouquet to Greece. If you’re not familiar with Greek holidays and wonder about the best times to send flowers to Greece here’s your complete guide.
Greek Independence Day or “Evangelismos tis Theotokou”. One of the biggest religious holidays, it has dual significance, and had been observed with grandeur for more than a century. Interestingly, this date commemorates both the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, and the Greek War of Independence against the Turks (1821).
Celebrate Evangelismos tis Theotokou with a bouquet of glorious Narcissus. Like many other flowers, the Narcissus flower’s name comes from Greek mythology. Narcissus was a very handsome, but vain, young man who fell in love with his own reflection in the water. Obsessed with his own beauty, Narcissus never left the pool and eventually died. Afterward, a pretty flower bloomed on the spot. Now, we know that flower as the yellow-trumpeted narcissus plant.
Koimisis tis Theotokou (also known as the Pascha of Summer), marks the ascension of the Virgin Mary into Heaven. Since is the second-largest holiday after Easter and a national religious holiday, the island of Tinos celebrates this day no other. Thousands of pilgrims come to the famous temple in Tinos. When they arrive, they crawl on their knees up the stairs and pray to the Virgin Mary. She is symbolized there by the holy Icon of Panagia. Additionally, like other holy holidays, August 15th is also a name day for Panagiotis, Paraniota, Maria, Marios, Despoina, Theotokis.
Since they bloom in August, sunflowers are a great flower choice during this time of year. According to a Greek myth, the sunflower was once a nymph named Clytie. Sadly, she fell into an obsessive love with the sun god Apollo. Clytie sat on a rock for nine days straight staring at Apollo riding in his chariot up in the sky. Eventually, the gods turned her into the flower we know as the sunflower. Just like Clytie, the sunflower follows the sun’s movement from dusk till dawn.
Because of the Clytie’s story, the sunflower symbolizes worship and loyalty. Its vibrant yellow color stands for happiness and vitality. The sunflower can also represent friendship. Send a sunflower bouquet to Greece when you want to cheer up a friend, or to wish someone a happy name day.
February, 14 – Valentine’s Day in Greece
March, 8 – Women’s Day in Greece
Mother’s Day in Greece (Second Sunday in May)
A long-standing symbol of love, the rose is the perfect flower to send to Greece for Valentine’s Day, Women’s Day or Mother’s Day. As the queen of all flowers, roses have a special place in Greece and Greek mythology. According to an ancient legend, Aphrodite (the goddess of love) created roses. They grew from the tears she shed when a wild boar mortally wounded her lover Adonis. Adonis’ blood turned the flowers blood-red. Inspired by the mythical origins of roses, Cleopatra used their petals during public appearances. She wanted history to remember her as a goddess who smelled like roses.
Easter in Greece
Easter is the biggest religious celebration in Greece. The most important Christian holiday in the Orthodox denomination, it is accompanied by traditions that go back to the start of the church itself. While there are many unique local customs, some are observed by all Greeks and giving each other Easter flowers is one of them. Easter lilies, daisies, roses and orchids are popular choices during Easter. Hyacinth (which blooms between April and May) is another holiday staple that also has roots in Greek mythology.
According to the story, this flower was named after Hyacinthus. Hyacinthus was a beautiful young man and one of the sons of Zeus. Apollo loved him, and was teaching Hyacinthus to throw the discus. But Apollo accidentally killed him with a terrible throw. In his sorrow, Apollo turned his beloved one’s blood into the beautiful purple flower we know today.
Name Days in Greece
If you’ve never heard of a name day, here’s a whole new set of holidays for you to celebrate! They are a long-held tradition from the Greek Orthodox Church. In the Orthodox calendar, every day of the year is dedicated to the memory of one or several saints or martyrs. If someone is named after a saint, then there is a big celebration on his or her name day. It’s a lot like a birthday, only connected to one’s name and associated saint.
In fact, people across Europe have celebrated their first names for centuries in the same manner we celebrate birthdays. So, basically “name day” is like a person’s second birthday. The celebrations are very similar too. Parties with family and friends, birthday gifts, and festive flowers are all a customary when celebrating a name day.
What a great tradition we should all borrow from the Orthodox Church! Who doesn’t want to have two birthdays a year instead of one? Twice as many gifts, twice as much fun! So, here’s the list of the most popular name days in Greece that can help you be prepared for you friend’s second birthday:
Dates for Greek Name Days
January, 7: Ioannis, Ioanna, Prodromos.
January, 17: Antonis, Antonia
January, 1: Athanasios, Athanasia
Easter: Anastasios, Anastasia, Labros, Labrini, Paschalis
May, 21: Konstantinou and Elenis
June, 29: Petros, Peter, Petra, Pavlos, Paul, Pavlina, Pauline
July, 26: Paraskevi, Paraskevas
August, 15: Panagiotis, Paraniota, Maria, Marios, Despoina, Theotokis
August, 30: Alexandros, Alexandra
September, 14: Stavros, Stavrula
September, 17: Sofia, Elpida, Agapi, Pisti, Sonia
September, 20: Efstathios, Efstathia
October, 26: Dimitrios, Dimitra, Danai
November, 8: Stamatios, Stamatia, Michalis, Gavriel, Gavriela, Taxiarchis, Aggelos, Aggeliki, Matina, Serafim
November, 21: Maria, Marios, Soultana
November, 25: Katerina, Merkurios
November, 26: Stellios, Stella, Stergios
December, 6: Nikos, Nick, Nickole
December, 9: Anna
December, 12: Spiros, Spiridoula
December, 15: Eleftherios, Eleftheria, Anthi, Sylvia
December, 24: Eugenios, Eugenia
December, 25: Christos, Christina, Chrissa
December, 26: Manolis, Emmanuel, Emmanuela
From familiar Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day celebrations to exotic Name Day and Evangelismos tis Theotokou, Greece is full of holidays and unique traditions. Help your dear friends or relatives in Greece celebrate a special occasion by sending a bouquet of flowers to Greece any time of the year.