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Basics of the Greek Language, Lesson 13: Holidays

Basics of the Greek Language, Lesson 13: Holidays

At home, you probably get excited about school holidays, bank holidays, and of course the seasonal holidays like Christmas and Easter. In Greece, they celebrate these same holidays, but they have different bank holidays to us, because they signify and celebrate different things. It’s also important to note that in Greece, Easter is a far more important celebration than it is over here, and in some ways it’s more important than Christmas. One tradition is to paint eggs many different colours, and eat orange-flavoured bread. Whilst we celebrate birthdays, many Mediterranean countries like Greece (but also in Italy) place the emphasis on name days – so for instance if it’s the day of St. Nikos, and you are called Nikos, you would celebrate on this day as well.


Monday = Δευτέρα “dev-te-ra”

Tuesday = Τρίτη “tri-ti”

Wednesday = Τετάρτη “tet-art-i”

Thursday = Πέμπτη “pemb-ti”

Friday = Παρασκευή “paraskev-i”

Saturday = Σάββατο “sa-bbato”

Sunday = Κυριακή “kiria-ki”

Weekend = σαββατοκύριακο “sabbato-kir-iako”

Week = εβδομάδα “evdo-ma-da”

Day = ημέρα “i-meh-ra”

Month = μήνας “mi-nas”

Year = χρόνος “chro-nos”

January = Ιανουάριος “yanoo-a-rios”

February = Φεβρουάριος “fevrou-a-rios”

March = Μάρτιος “mar-tios”

April = Απρίλιος “april-ios”

May = Μάιος “may-os”

June = Ιούνιος “i-ooh-nios”

July = Ιούλιος “i-ooh-lios”

August = Αύγουστος “ow-goustos”

September = Σεπτέμβριος “sep-tem-vrios”

October = Οκτώβριος “okto-vrios”

November = Νοέμβριος “no-em-vrios”

December = Δεκέμβριος “de-kem-vrios”

Independence Day (25th March) = Εικοστή Πέμπτη Μαρτιου “ekos-ti  pem-ti Martiou”

Labour Day (1st May) = Εργατική Πρωτομαγιά “Erghatik-I protomaghi-a”

Ochi Day (October 28th) = Ημέρα του Όχι “ime-ra tou o-chi”. This is an interesting one – it celebrates Ioannis Metaxas’ famed response to the Italian ultimatum of 1940, and their refusal to surrender to Mussolini.

New Year’s Day = Πρωτοχρονιά “protochron-ia”

Good Friday = Μεγάλη Παρασκευή “megha-li paraskev-i”

Easter Sunday = Κυριακή του Πάσχα “kiria-ki tou pa-scha”

Easter Monday = Δευτέρα του Πάσχα “dev-te-ra tou pa-scha”

Christmas Day = Χριστούγεννα “christou-yenna”

Boxing day/December 26th = Σύναξις Ὑπεραγίας Θεοτόκου Μαρίας “si-naxis iperagh-ias Theo-to-kou Mar-ias”

Summer holidays = καλοκαιρινές διακοπές “kalokairi-nes diakop-es”

Birthday = γενέθλια “yen-e-thlia”

Happy birthday!/Happy name day! = Χρόνια πολλά! “chro-nee-a poll-a!”

Happy Easter! = Καλό Πάσχα! “kal-o pa-scha!”

Merry Christmas! = Καλά Χριστούγεννα! “kal-a chris-tou-yenna!”

Happy New Year! = Καλή πρωτοχρονιά! “kal-i protochroni-a!”

What will you do on your holiday? = τι θα κάνετε στις διακοπές σας; “ti tha ka-nete stis diakop-es sas?”

Where are you going? = πού πας; “pou pas?”

What are you doing for Easter? = τι κάνεις για το Πάσχα; “ti ka-nis yia toh pa-scha?”

Do you have any plans for the summer? = έχετε κάποια σχέδια για το καλοκαίρι; “e-chete ka-peea sche-theea yia to kalo-kair-i?”

I am going to be with my family/friends = εγώ είμαι πρόκειται να είναι με την οικογένειά μου/τους φίλους “egh-o ee-may pro-ketay na ee-nay me tin eeko-yen-ee-a mou/tous fee-loose”


So, now we know a little bit about what they celebrate in Greece, if you happen to be there on one of these important holidays, you can celebrate with the Greeks and have a nice and relaxing time!


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