Experience Greek Hospitality at Bar Vlaha

Greeks considered hospitality an essential part of their culture, treating their guests as Gods. In Ancient Greece, you would have found no Greek or the followers of Greek religion failing to welcome tourists and visitors. It’s said that the hospitality roots date back to Philoxenia and the Olympian god Zeus Xenious, who took the element seriously, and one had to face the wrath of God if anyone overlooked it. 

Importance of Hospitality in Ancient Greece 

Regardless of the guests’ status, position, and title, Greeks made it a point to treat their guests and visitors, whether within or outside the region, with supremacy to strengthen their social, military, and political bonds.


We are sure you must be curious to know about Philoxenia. It is a Greek word that means to become a friend to a stranger. The translation reflects how seriously Greeks took hospitality and left no stone unturned in treating their guests in the best ways. Digging deeper into Greek history, it is said there were laws of Xenia and the Greek God Zeus, who would transform himself into an average individual with regular dressing and show up at different doors. Why? He would do this to check how many citizens welcome him as a guest and how many ignore his presence. The ones who let him inside their dwelling considered themselves lucky as they followed the hospitality rules, but the segment of people who turned him away in fear of not knowing him faced his wrath. The wrath is said to be witnessed in the form of the Trojan War. 

Trojan War 

You might not believe it when we say the Trojan War began as a punishment for violating Athena Xenia’s guest’s ethics. Athena Xenia, the Goddess of Wisdom, kept a vigilant eye on strangers. The legend says that the Trojan prince Paris was staying as a guest at the house of King Melanus of Sparta when the Prince abducted the King’s wife, Helen. 

Odysseus Wife Penelope 

The Trojan War was one incident out of many others. The following hospitality violation was witnessed with Odysseus’ wife, Penelope. What happened here was that Penelope was forced to entertain the suitors, accepting all their reasonable and unreasonable wishes that the guests should not have made in the first place. The result was daunting as Penelope’s husband came to the rescue and slaughtered the suitors.

Zeus Xenios  

The ancient Greek God Zeus Xenios is recognized as a traveller travelers protected them. Another story involved Zeus, who was invited by an elderly couple to spend the night in their house. The dinner was presented with a lavish feast followed by wine.

The hosts refilled the wine glass multiple times and noticed that the wine jug was surprisingly full despite the refills. They realized the guest was God and, without wasting another moment, offered to kill their goose to ensure they were well fed. Zeus and Hermes were impressed by the gesture and gifted them by turning their small cottage into a beautiful stone temple. 

Visit Bar Vlaha in Coolidge Corner 

Bar Vlaha in Brookline, MA, will give you the authentic experience of Greek hospitality. Visit our restaurant in Coolidge Corner for fun drinks, delicious cuisine, and a fantastic experience.

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