New Year in Greece 2023

Will you be in Crete in time for the New Year? While you’re there, hire a car in Crete to make the most of your holiday, especially if you want to enjoy the local festivities.


It’s always a special time.


New Year’s Eve is one of the biggest celebrations in Crete. Aside from the usual public festivities, friends and family exchange gifts and welcome the New Year together with a late-night meal.


Crete is one of the most exciting places to spend the New Year, as it continues to maintain some of its most remarkable customs throughout the centuries. One of the things you shouldn’t miss out on is Vasilopita, the cake traditionally enjoyed during this time. Select restaurants and bakeries offer this Greek New Year cake, so you can try it while you’re here. It is among the oldest customs that have survived to this day. The tradition is derived from the ancient custom of presenting festive bread to the gods during big rural holidays. The cake has a hidden gold coin, and if you find it, luck should be on your side in 2023!


Hire a car in Crete and visit Heraklion to try Bougatsa, a savoury custard and filo pastry from famous cafes. It’s also customary to break a pomegranate in Crete and enter the house with it as the year changes while shouting, “Happy New Year!” The practice is called Podariko, which pertains to giving someone a good start. Just be sure to enter the home with your right foot first so that you can be ‘right’ or lucky in 2023.


More festivities to enjoy

But food isn’t the only reason to welcome the New Year in Greece. Hire a car in Crete to find perfect nightspots for evening entertainment in bars and clubs. If you can’t stand the crowds, you can drive somewhere peaceful and find a great spot to watch the elaborate fireworks displays.


In Heraklion, people gather at the old port along the harbour’s edge to watch Agiasmos, or the blessing of the waters. A priest presides over the ritual by the open water while men dive into the water to retrieve a thrown crucifix. Today, more women are also taking part in the event. Crowds cheer for the swimmer who gets the cross, and the ritual ends when the priest frees a white dove to symbolise peace.


About the author;

Ioannis Kastrinais is client representative at, a renowned car rental Crete company with 40 years of experience of providing rent a car in Heraklion, Chania, Rethymnon and hiring cars in Heraklion and Chania airports. If you are looking to hire a car in Crete then you can visit car rental services in Crete.

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