Podarikó: The Greek New Year’s custom is still alive
- 30 December, 2018
One of the oldest customs Greeks follow with the advent of the New Year is called “podariko” [ποδαρικό], from the root pod-, or foot, roughly meaning “good foot.” Loosely translated, this means that the person who first sets foot in your home in the new year must be someone who brings good luck.
Even today, many people in Greece are especially careful as to who will be the first to enter their home in the New Year. On New Year’s Eve they will usually invite someone they believe will bring good luck to be the first to walk into their home as soon as the New Year arrives.
Once the “lucky” person walks into the house, the owners need to step on something that is made of iron, so that the family will be as strong as iron, or healthy, throughout the new year. The housewife kisses the person who makes the podariko and usually gives him or her apples or walnuts and some sweet quince or any other delicacy made for the holidays.
On the Greek island of Amorgos, a family member always walks into the house first when they return from the church. Holding a small holy icon, the chosen person walks two steps into the house, saying “Good, come inside.” Then he or she will turn around and declare “Evil, get out”. This is repeated three times.
Finally, the person will say “Good, come inside” for the last time, and they throw a pomegranate down on the threshold while wishing everyone a “Happy New Year”.
The podariko custom is attributed to Bishop Gregory of Nyssa (c. 335 – c. 395) who allegedly said that on New Year’s Day people should meet with or bring to their home a person who they believe would bring them good luck.
Similarities can be found in other cultures as well, as podariko roughly equals to what the Northern British and the Scottish call “First Foot”.
From: https://greece.greekreporter.com/2018/1 ... ill-alive/
, on New Year's Eve each family member comes out of the house, gets a stone and puts it in the house and after sitting down on it makes a cross and says:
"Cluck cluck to our chickens, good year to our home, lambs and goats, males and females".
"Κλου κλου στα ορνίθια μας, καλοχρονιά στο σπίτι μας, αρνιά και ρίφια θηλυκά και κοπέλια αρσενικά".
Then the parents take the children with the good hand (the right one) by doing the same and every visitor and say, "Good morning to you at first, good Saint Archiminia [archiminia = first day of the new month]. How much weight does this stone have, so much gold enters your home".