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What are important cultural traditions in Greece?

Greece has a rich and diverse cultural heritage, with many important traditions that have been passed down through the generations. Continue reading below for some of the most important cultural traditions in Greece.


Family is a central part of Greek culture, and extended families often live close to one another and maintain strong relationships. For example, Sunday lunches and holidays with family, are an important part of life in Greece. Besides, many Greeks work in family businesess.



Greek cuisine is characterized by its fresh, seasonal ingredients and flavorful herbs and spices. Meals are often communal, and it is customary to share plates and sample a variety of dishes. Popular dishes include moussaka, tzatziki, and souvlaki.


Never ask a Greek for butter instead of oil! Greece is one of the largest producers of olive oil in the world, and the quality of Greek olive oil is highly valued. Greek olive oil is known for its rich flavor and high level of polyphenols, which are antioxidants that are believed to have health benefits. Therefore, olive oil is a product the Greeks are proud of.

The ultimate cultural olive experience is the harvest. Around November, this important part of Greek culture takes place. In rural areas, families and communities come together to pick olives by hand. The olives are then taken to a press to be made into olive oil, which is used for cooking, as well as for beauty and health purposes. Besides, all over the country, there are festivals dedicated to the harvest.

Music and Dance

Music and dance are an important part of Greek culture, and traditional music and dances, such as bouzouki and sirtaki, continue to be enjoyed today. While sirtaki is the most famous Greek dance amongst foreigners, this choreography is from the 1964 movie “Zorba the Greek“. In reality, there are over 10,000 traditional dances that come from all regions of Greece. In many of them, people hold each other while they dance in a line or circle. 

My favorite Greek dance is something completely different, however. The Zeibekiko. This dance is often performed at weddings and danced by the groom or best man. A Zerbekiko does not have set steps, instead, the dancer moves in ways that express his feelings and his “demons”.


Hospitality is an important cultural tradition in Greece, and visitors are often welcomed with open arms and a lot of food. This tradition dates back to ancient times. Then, visitors were welcomed as guests in the homes of Greek families, and hospitality was considered a virtue. This tradition continues today, and Greeks are known for their warm and welcoming nature. It is not uncommon for strangers to be invited into homes for a meal or a drink. 


The Orthodox Church is the dominant religion in Greece, and religious celebrations and traditions are an important part of life. Easter is the most important religious holiday, and it is celebrated with processions, feasting, and fireworks. Carnaval is celebrated with masquerade parties, street parades, and traditional music. And during the summer months, there is the panigiri, with traditional live music, dancing, and, of course, food.

Despite its religious roots, the festivities are open to all, and visitors are welcome to participate in the celebrations and experience Greek culture at its most vibrant.


Greece is home to a number of festivals and celebrations throughout the year, including the Athens Festival, the Epidaurus Festival, and the Patras Carnival. These festivals showcase the country’s rich cultural heritage and bring communities together to celebrate.

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