The people of Greece hail September I as their New Year's Day because it marks the start of the Greek sowing season, a time of hope and promise.
To start things off right, farmers' families take plates of seeds to church for the priest to bless. On the island of Kos, people fashion first-of-the-year wreaths of pomegranates, grapes, quinces, garlic bulbs, and plane-tree leaves-all of which are traditional symbols of abundance. Just before dawn on September 1, island children carry their household' wreaths down to the shore, the old year's wreaths and the new ones, and they throw the old ones out to sea. Eyre Lake
They briefly immerse the new ones, for luch. Then they carry sea-water and pebbles home in a jar, to serve, along with the new wreath, as protective devices. Tradition calls for exactly forty pebbles and water collected from the tops of exactly forty waves.
This is also a time of trepidation. One old folk belief is that on this day the Angel of Death writes down the names of all those unfortunates destined to die within the coming year.