New Year's Eve in Greece is celebrated with fireworks and much evening entertainment, as nightspots and the streets become extremely crowded. Many hotels and other venues offer New Year's Eve parties much like they do in the United States.
While going out to organized events is popular on New Year's Eve in Greece, some people prefer to entertain at home. The celebrations generally still involve fireworks and staying up until midnight to ring in the new year. Children typically engage in something called a "bloodless" war, complete with fake hammers and foam spray as their weapons. Dinner usually includes many traditional Greek dishes, including Greek salad, stuffed grape leaves, lamb, moussaka and spanakopita. For dessert, kourabiedes cookies and vaselopita cake is on the menu. Whoever finds the coin that was baked into the cake is supposed to enjoy wealth and good luck in the upcoming year.
Children are usually very excited on New Year's Eve, as gifts are exchange on New Year's Day instead of Christmas as it is in many other countries. The tradition of pothariko also comes into play, where a cherished friend or close family member is asked to be the first one to arrive at the house on New Year's Day because that first person to come through the door will be responsible for either good or back luck for the family that lives there.