Φαράγγια & Σπήλαια

Crete is one of the most famous islands that Greece has to offer its visitors. With its sapphire blue sea, hospitable inhabitants and delicious food, Crete has something to offer to everyone. However, as any famous area, Crete also has its fair share of curious customs, traditions and superstitions. Most of these, of course, are related to safety at sea, but there are many that are intended for land locked inhabitants. In this short article, we hope to run you through different aspects of peculiar Cretan customs.

Cretan Customs

The white trees. The fact that the trunks of the trees are often painted white (limewashed) in Crete and Greece is primarily to fight the ants. And besides it looks nice, too - it fits well with Greek style buildings and houses.

The worry beads. The rosary that most of the Greek men are holding in their hands, sitting outside the kafeneion (cafe in Greece), has no religious meaning, but is only a way of killing time. Try and buy one, it's actually much more difficult to swing it than it looks like. It is generally used to relieve stress.

Iron bars. You will often see iron bars sticking out of the sides of a house in Crete. The popular story goes that it is to gain additional tax exemptions; however, these are only placed there with the intent to expand the house later on.

Kafenio roofs. Kafenio is a Greek style tavern. It is the most popular place for male Greeks to spend their leisure time. Even the smallest villages had at least two of these, and usually with different colored roofs – the roofs indicate to which political party the kafenio owner belongs, with the intent to avoid any sort of political quarrels in the kafenio itself.

Churches and monasteries. These are a must to see while visiting Crete – churches and monasteries are usually decorated with beautiful mosaics and frescoes showing lives of Jesus, Virgin Mary and different saints. Be prepared to wear longer sleeves when entering a church or monastery; tourists are allowed (but not expected to) to kiss icons as a sign of respect.

Tipping and paying. When invited by a Greek to a dinner, it is considered extremely rude to offer to ‘split the bill’; rather, it is usually paid for the host. When tipping in a bar or restaurant, the tip is usually at around 10%; both not tipping and overtipping can be considered rude.

Final Remarks

Crete is a magical island that will make sure you return to your home with lifelong memories. While it is true that other places can offer you different things to enjoy (Italy has to offer Venice for its beauty, France can offer its cuisine for the food, internet can offer http://www.vegaswinnercasino.org/video-poker  for your lucky strikes), only Crete can offer its unique atmosphere and remarkable history. Remember – never has a person returned from Greece with having bad memories of the visit. So give it a try – at the absolute worst, your time in Greece, and Crete especially, will be just okay-ish.

 

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