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Christmas tales: Part I, Greeks and the Sea

Christmas tales: Part I, Greeks and the Sea.
Christmas tales: Part I, Greeks and the Sea
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Milos Greek island rocks and the sea
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Aegean Sea, Milos Sarakiniko rocks, Greece
Sakakiniko rocks and Aegean Sea. Photo by Maria Tsalla.

Greeks and the Sea

Though most people typically associate sea theme with summer vacations, for Greeks it is a vastly more important subject. Sea is something that accompanies us throughout our lives, and seafaring has always been a way of life for many many men, providing food, new lands for settlements, connecting us and our ancestors with other cultures. No wonder that the most traditional Greek Christmas decoration is not a pine tree. Along with Christmas trees, Greeks decorate their houses with miniature boats and it is our way to pay our respects to the sea that continues to be the source of our livelihood and those who brave those still very much unpredictable waters. We beacon them from our homes with festive lights as if saying “Come home safely” from wherever they are. Sea never cease to fascinate us with its eternal beauty and mystery.

The Sea in Greek mythology

To understand the connection between Greeks and the sea one must start with Ancient Greek myths.

There is a whole plethora of sea (ocean) gods and creatures, like Oceanus, son of Uranos and Gaea, married to his sister, Tethys, with whom he had numerous children, called Oceanids.

Poseidon is the god of the sea, ill-tempered and unpredictable.

Aphrodite, the Olympian goddess of love, beauty, sexual pleasure, and fertility, was born near the coast of Cythera out of the foam (aphros) Uranus\’ castrated genitals created when they fell into the sea.

[fancy_link title=\”More about Greek gods, goddesses and their antics here\” link=\”https://www.greekmythology.com\” target=\”https://www.greekmythology.com\” style=\”1\” class=\”\” download=\”\”]
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The Sea and Ancient Greek heroes

The most important and interesting mythological stories take place in the sea!

Perseus, one of the greatest heroes in Greek mythology, was locked in a wooden chest with his mother, Danae, and thrown into the sea by his grandfather Acrisius in an attempt to escape the fate.

[fancy_link title=\”Read more about Perseus and his adventures here\” link=\”https://www.greekmythology.com/Myths/Heroes/Perseus/perseus.html\” target=\”https://www.greekmythology.com/Myths/Heroes/Perseus/perseus.html\” style=\”1\” class=\”\” download=\”\”]

Odysseus got lost in there and wandered its waters for long ten years until he was able to return to his home island Ithaca.

[fancy_link title=\”Read more about cunning Odysseus and Trojan War here\” link=\”https://www.greekmythology.com/Myths/Heroes/Odysseus/odysseus.html\” target=\”https://www.greekmythology.com/Myths/Heroes/Odysseus/odysseus.html\” style=\”1\” class=\”\” download=\”\”

Jason had a boat built and assembled a party of heroes, Argonauts, to sail for the famous Golden Fleece and bring it from Colchis to Iolcus.

[fancy_link title=\”Read more about Jason, the Argonauts and their trip here\” link=\”https://www.greekmythology.com/Myths/Heroes/Jason/jason.html\” target=\”https://www.greekmythology.com/Myths/Heroes/Jason/jason.html\” style=\”1\” class=\”\” download=\”\”]

Learn more about Greek mythology, gods and heroes:

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[fancy_link title=\”Encyclopaedia Britannica\” link=\”https://www.britannica.com/topic/Greek-mythology\” target=\”https://www.britannica.com/topic/Greek-mythology\” style=\”1\” class=\”\” download=\”\”]

[fancy_link title=\”Wikipedia\” link=\”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_mythology\” target=\”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_mythology\” style=\”1\” class=\”\” download=\”\”]

[fancy_link title=\”Greek mythology for kids in Greek\” link=\”https://www.paidika-paramythia.gr/fairy-tales-collection/elliniki-mythologia\” target=\”https://www.paidika-paramythia.gr/fairy-tales-collection/elliniki-mythologia\” style=\”1\” class=\”\” download=\”\”]
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Aphrodite - Galazio.net

Greek island Elafonisos, beach, sea
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Greek island Elafonisos, Peloponnesus, Greece, beach, sea
Greek island Elafonisos, Peloponnesus, Greece. Photo by Maria Tsalla.

Boats in the sea near Athens, Greece, sunset
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Sunset near Athens, Greece, sea, boats
Sunset near Athens, Greece. Photo by Maria Tsalla.

Barka in the Sea, Greece, Peloponnesus
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Barka in the sea, Greece, Peloponnesus
Small boat (μπάρκα) in Mani, Peloponnesos, Greece. Photo by Maria Tsalla.