For a little insight into this wonderfully exciting and varied Greece, We have put together a few facts about Greece. Have fun while reading.
1. Greece is not called Greece
The Hellenic Republic is the correct name of the country. Greece gets its name from the Romans. Magna Graecia was originally the name used by the Romans for the Greek colony of Graia. The term Greece and Greeks come from this name. The Greeks call themselves Hellenes and their country Hellas.
2. Land of Islands & Mountains
Greece is one of the most island-rich countries in Europe with over 3,000 islands belonging to Hellas, of which only about 110 are inhabited. The islands of Kos, Santorini, Crete, and Rhodes are probably the most popular islands.
Greece is known for its many beautiful islands, but more than two-thirds of the country is mountainous. The Olympus (the seat of the gods) is with 2.918 meters the highest mountain of Greece.
3. Name day instead of birthday
The birthday in Greece is not the big occasion for the party instead, the name day is celebrated. Why? About 97% of Greeks belong to the Greek Orthodox religion.
Most of the names of the Greek population are attributed to Christian saints, whose deathdays are celebrated by the Greeks as memorial days. At the same time everyone is celebrated on the day who bears the name of the saint.
4. Sonnenland Greece
Greece is one of the sunniest countries in Europe. Athens has an average of about 348 sunny days per year, the island of Crete about 300.
5. Grab the bull by the horns
This familiar phrase comes from Greece, more specifically from the island of Crete. Herakles saved the island from a wild bull in the old heroic sagas. The bull was struck by Poseidon with the rage, destroying entire tracts of land in his rage. Herakles grabbed the bull by the horns and bought it to Mycenae. That’s how the saying came about.
6. Healthy Greek Food
Fresh, delicious olive oil, a rich selection of fruits and vegetables, fresh fish and seafood. Greek cuisine is so versatile and healthy. Scientific studies show that people living in the Mediterranean have a higher life expectancy and lower disease rates than other Europeans.
On top of that, even for vegans, there is a good selection of products. It is better known in Greece as nistisimo. The question of vegan products in the supermarket or food in the restaurant is mostly negated, as nistisimo declared foods are almost all vegan.
7. Spitting against misfortune
A threefold ftou, ftou, ftou is spat against those who tell of a misfortune. It is not so much a spit in the literal sense, but rather a kind of blow. The aim is to drive away from the devil and evil spirits and thus keep evil away from itself.
Spitting is more like a compliment. Even if a person is especially beautiful, the spitting is supposed to cause envy and evil spirits to turn away from the person.
8. The Greek folk dance?
Incidentally, apart from Sirtaki, there are officially over 4,000 different dances in Greece, each with its own dance culture reflecting regional traditions.
9. Mount Athos for men only
On the eastern side of the Halkidiki peninsula is Mount Athos , the area is an independent monastic republic under Greek sovereignty. Meanwhile, 20 of the monasteries in the monastic republic of Athos have been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status.
The only catch: only men have access to this small republic, women unfortunately have to stay outside.
10. National anthem with 158 stanzas
According to legend, in May 1823 Dionysius Solomos wrote the hymn to Freedom within a month. The national anthem contains an incredible 158 stanzas, with hardly a Greek who knows all stanzas by heart. Only the first two stanzas are sung.
11. Blue against evil spirits
The color turquoise-blue is omnipresent in Greece. Many Greek churches have blue domes, but also doors, shutters or pieces of furniture.
According to ancient myths, she is said to drive out evil spirits. And there is another nice side effect: the beautiful turquoise-blue face of the building is associated with many visitors to Greece.
People who are not from Hellas are unfamiliar with these facts and there is very little known about them on the internet as well. If you are reading this, you are amongst the very few who know about these awesome facts