On New Year’s Eve, people gather at the central square and exchange Christmas Ships, flattering each other.
Young people dressed as sailors build their own navy ships through the whole year. These boats can be quite long reaching up to 2 or 3 metres probably longer. They have the ship on wheels and take it round the neighbourhoods making stops at every house where they sing.
These songs are actually praises to the people of the house. In return they are given sweets or some pocket money. All night long the connons blow off as they go from one house to the other. It is a very nice local custom and the instrument they use to accompany the praises is called "trabuka" made of fined clay and leather.
THE MASTIC TREES OF CHIOS
Chios is well known for its Mastic trees.
It is only produced on this island especially in the southern parts of the island, in the villages called “Mastichohoria”.
Although many people attempted to take mastic trees to different countries in the past, it is very strange but mastic is impossible to grow in any other part of the world.
Even in other parts of Greece where there are many of these trees all over the country, this is not possible to happen and this is like a blessing to this island.
Its production starts from June till September, but sometimes it continues till the month of October only if the weather is warm. A Greek law prohibits the cutting on gum mastic trees before the 15th of July and after October 15th.
Today it is proven that mastic has therapeutic uses to lower cholesterol, prevent ulcers and ease blood pressure. Mastic is used for Greek delicacies, cosmetics, and even perfumes.