Katerina: Traditional Greek Christmas Event

evs 19.01.2018

Katerina is an European Voluntary Service volunteer from Greece who is working in Imastu Residential School. In December, she was invited to Paikuse Kindergarten Mesimumm to organise – together with other volunteers – a traditional event about her country. Here is her story:

On 7th of December, something magical and unique happened in Paikuse Lasteaed Mesimumm. My friend Nieves, who works there as a volunteer, invited me and other volunteers to make a Christmas event for children making something traditional from our country – Greece.

So, I had to think and choose the most suitable traditional activity we make during Christmas in Greece. The problem is that we make a lot of things in Christmas (especially preparing tons of food in every house). In the end, I decided to make something with children that have a story in the background, can involve the parents and can make us dirty! That’s why we made the Kalikantzari’s pie!

Kalikantzari are some little naughty creatures who live in the core of our planet and the whole year they are cutting the tree of life because they don’t like people and they want to kill them all. When it’s Christmas Eve, and the tree of life is about to fall down, they are coming up to the Earth because they know that this time of the year, our houses are full of food and full of people. They are very greedy with food and very naughty to people. They really enjoy to scare people and to make a mess in our houses.
For these reasons, we don’t want these creatures in our houses because they destroy everything we are making. So, we have to find a solution to make them get away. We know that they are very silly and it’s very easy to trick them.


Every year, we make a small pie for them which is not tasty, but we decorate it in an attractive way to trick them. We put this pie near our windows or near our fireplace, so when they enter (as small thieves) in our houses, they are getting excited of this pie, they steal it, run away and don’t come back because they feel that they find their small treasure!

On the 6th of January, when the priests sanctify the water, they are running away from the Earth’s surface and they return back to the core of Earth. But, when they arrive there, they realize that the Tree of Life is still alive so they have to cut it again. The same things are happening every year. Poor Kalikantzari….!

It was very difficult for me to explain the whole story in Estonian, that’s why me and my flatmate Sofia, made one drawing of them and a list of their names (yes, each of them has a special name and special attitude or characteristics).

Children with their parents started arriving and the ingredients were waiting for them to make the Kalikantzari’s pie to protect their houses from Kalikantzari’s Christmas attacks.

We got a lot of dirt, we enjoyed it a lot, parents were very willing to help the children with the pie, they listened to the story and they promised me that this pie, will decorate their houses these Christmas!

Thanks a lot for this experience!

Katerina stays in Estonia for 12 months within the project ”Be the Change II ” which is funded by Erasmus+ European Voluntary Service program.