Keeping the Winter goblins at bay- an old Greek Christmas belief

It was my last Greek lesson before Christmas and Maria, my tutor, was telling me about Christmas in Greece.

“During Christmas the Kallikantzaroi [evil goblins] are attracted by the smell of the food we cook at Christmas, especially the delicious, sweet smells. They live under ground all the rest of the year, sawing through the roots of the world tree trying to destroy it. People try to stop them coming into their homes.  While they are away the roots of the world tree heal over, so at the end of Christmas they have to go back under ground and start their sawing all over again.”

My eyes are wide open at these old folk beliefs.

“Do you have anything like this in England?”, she asks.

“Erm…not really”, I reply, thinking how pale our English beliefs seem in comparison.

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