Greek culture expands over a plethora of ages and periods, from the stone age to the byzantine era to the modern period of contemporary lifestyles. As a whole, the country is widespread with a variety of interests and traditions. The Greek people and culture have been molded by the country's location and the epic events that occurred on this land throughout history. Much of the culture in Greece stems from religious beliefs, tradition, food, music, dance, and the very language, all of which defines the nation as an ethnic entity. Understanding these facets of culture are a large part of enjoying a visit to the country, as they constitute a massive portion of the entire lifestyle that exists in this part of the world.
Ancient Greek Culture
Ancient Greek Culture
While the history and culture of Greece spreads over an imposingly large expanse of time and major changes and occurrences in the world, there remain two very important eras that stand out above the rest, the Classical and the Hellenistic, imparting many of the cultural celebrations, ideas, artistry, and existences that linger in today's society in Greece and across the entire globe. Tracking history itself was a concept that originated in Greece. Wrapping up the initial ages of evolution and improvement, the Classical Era was known as an age of maturity in which the major city-states, such as Athens, Sparta, Thebes, Corinth, and Syracuse effected major developments in conquest and cultural expansion and achievement. The beginning of the Hellenistic Era marks the transference of Greece as a self-centered society to a diverse cosmopolitan culture, maintaining a predominately Greek lean on affairs of all concern. At this time, Greek became the official language of the Hellenistic society as well. Considered the Father of History today, Herodotus was the first to attempt a record of historical events along with tall tales, myths, and legends, mixed in a highly criticized medley of stories, as it included fiction along with true tales of history. In modern opinion, these documents are viewed as wildly entertaining bits of history, expanded with literary license. Followed by Herodotus, Thucydides shared his account of history, namely, the Peloponnesian War. Together, these first historians left a footprint that marked the objective manner of relating historical records for the next 2,000 years.
Many of the traditional celebrations and customs that existed in the ancient society of Greece still exist in the culture in some form today, from language to food to music to local beliefs. Throughout the country, festivals and celebrations are dedicated to any number of religious beliefs, and they are often marked by folk dancing, a delicious selection of foods, and traditional music. Religious milestones, such as baptisms and marriages are rich in cultural tradition. A predominate part of the culture are the superstitious beliefs in the evil eye, which is warded off by a number of methods, including spitting, knocking on wood, wearing talisman, and eating garlic. While Christmas has become the most important celebrated holiday in Western civilization, Easter remains the most important of religious holidays in Greece. Beyond celebrations and festivities, everyday life remains steeped in tradition and culture, even in today's modern society.
In Ancient Greece, the diet consisted of a variety of ingredients, including grains, fruits, vegetables, seafood, and sometimes meat. Dairy products were derived mainly from goats that were often kept in many households. One of the most decidely famous dishes in Greece is Moussaka, which consists of potatoes topped with a saute of eggplants and onions, minced beef, and a drizzle of bechamel creme, a white sauce roux made of flour, butter, and milk. The food and wine in Greece remain part of the country's rich culture. Resulting from a pride in craftsmanship, the culinary arena of the nation, though varied in style and selection, is among the finest and most delicious on the planet.