Honey and bees

Greek customs and honey


  • Honey was used in celebrations as a symbol of fertility and prosperity.
  • Honey with walnuts and the `pasteli` bar was offered at weddings to the newly-weds and guests.
  • On Crete every wedding guest is given a coiled ribbon of delicate fried pastry dipped. In honey, called `xerotigano`.
  • On Rhodes on the day before the wedding, the tradition is to prepare `melekounia`, a sweet with honey, sesame and rosewater.
  • Bread made with honey is given to women who have recently given birth.
  • On New Year`s Day women had nuts, an olive branch and a cup of honey were placed on the table.
  • For Christmas and New Year`s there are several desserts and sweets made with honey: melomakarona, diples, and honey bread. On Crete the bride and groom are obliged to eat a spoonful of walnuts and honey and honey is offered to the guests.
  • Always present at celebration dinners are honeyed desserts, symbols of happinesss and abundance: diples, loukoumades, xerotigana, melomakarona, baklava and walnut cakes.