Greek Culture: Facts and Myths

The islands of Greece are a beautiful getaway for families, friends and couples from across the globe. A culmination of islands, beaches, architecture, tourist spots and finger licking Greek food, Greece is known not only for it’s beauty but also for it’s deep and rich history. Just as most civilizations and countries, Greek history and religious belief intertwines and leaves historians and residents alike puzzled and inquisitive whether the Greek gods and their stories were in fact myth or fact.

Moving into the territory of fact, Greece has it’s list of facts such as:

  • It is one of the oldest cities in Europe being inhabited for over 7,000 years.
  • Greece is a collection of over 2,000 islands.
  • Tourism is over 16% of the countries GDP.
  • Every citizen over 18 must vote and every male citizen needs to serve for 12 to 18 months.
  • Feta is the national cheese of Greece
  • Athens is the capital while the city of Rhodes is the most popular destination for tourists
  • Greek is also one of the most oldest languages in Europe

These are just a few facts from a long never ending list but when we move into the mythological aspect, things are no less interesting.

  • Zeus the mightiest of the Gods killed his own father who was a Titan
  • People believe that once the Gods had put soil on the rest of the Earth, the stones were thrown at one place and that’s how Greece was made.
  • Greek stories are rich with heroes such as Hercules and Perseus who were hailed as half Gods and half humans (demigods)
  • All gods had some virtue attached to them. Athena was intelligence, Hermes was speed, Ares was speed. Greeks had various temples and their followers were granted these virtues.

The mythological stories have no ending. Now whether they were myth, legend or fact, there’s no harm in getting to know the fantastical tales of Greek. The culture of Greece has it’s own flavour as well.

  • Greeks do not wave with their palms open. It is considered offensive.
  • Greeks have ‘Name day’ celebrations where everyone is named after a Greek saint.
  • Presently, 98% of the Greek population is Christian orthodox.
  • Spitting in Greece is a sign of chasing of demons and bad luck.
  • As opposed to the rest of the world which considers Friday the 13th as bad luck, Greeks believe Tuesday the 13th to be unlucky.

So, whether it’s the culture, facts and history, myth or the beautiful islands themselves, Greece is a country of beauty, splendour, discovery, learning and fun. Next time you plan a trip to Greece, make sure you brush up on your knowledge about them. It might come in handy!


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