Posts Tagged ‘Holidays’
Observed on January 6th, the Epiphany celebration remembers the three miracles that manifest the divinity of Christ. The name “Epiphany” comes from the Greek word Epiphania, and means “to show, make known, or reveal.” The celebration originated in the Eastern Church in AD 361, beginning as a commemoration of the birth of Christ. Later, additional meanings were added – the visit of the three Magi, Christ’s baptism in the Jordan River, and his first miracle at the wedding in Cana. These three events are central to the definition of Epiphany, and its meaning is drawn from these occurrences.
In my journey of being a Protestant to joining the (Eastern) Greek Orthodox faith, there has definitely been some ups and downs. The first down was in the beginning of dating my husband and discovering that we not only had many cultural differences but religious ones too. I then lacked the faith that we could find some common ground to stand on together without trying to persuade one another to the other side, God proved me wrong! At that point though, there was already an abundance of love pulling us together, so from there we began the challenging road of figuring out how we could be together and what it would look like in an everyday life setting. The first high came when I began to look into the history of Christianity and Orthodoxy. I was enthralled to discover so much about not only the roots of the Christian faith itself but also the foundations of the Orthodox faith. I became captivated about where, when, and how Christianity started and even carried on today in so many of the same ways!
I am safe and sound in Greece after 24 hours of traveling and a small side trip with my wonderful husband. I have gotten to travel some within Greece, but there are still so many wonderful places we haven’t been yet either. I think one could spend a year just traveling in Greece – mainland and the thousands of islands – and still not see all the beautiful hidden jewels of this country. There are a total of 6,000 islands and islets of Greece, but only 227 of those islands are inhabited – and only 78 or so have more than 100 people living on them. Each island and even city is known for something unique and special from that area and there are hundreds of different village accents depending on where you are traveling.
Just some Greek coffee and fresh juice on a typical visit to yiayia’s house.
Our Easter lunch at home in my husband’s parent’s house. Stuffed beefteki, lamb meat skewers, traditional Easter soups, salad, lots of wonderful cheeses and sauces, wine, and of course red eggs to hit together!
On March 25, 1821,Bishop Germanos of Patras courageously raised the Greek flag at the monastery of Agia Lavras in the Peloponnese, and declared “Eleftheria i Thanatos” (Freedom or Death). This was the first day of the struggle for the next 9 years, until 1830. March 25th was already a significant date: it is also the feast of the Annunciation of angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, where she freely chose to bear Christ, who would ultimately free humanity of their sins.
Greece continued to endure many more struggles until 1947, when her current borders were finally achieved. In my opinion, the 400 years of slavery has greatly effected even the modern Greeks. I think the occupation and almost utter devastation of this country is a huge reason they are somewhat still living decades behind western Europe and the US, among some other holdbacks as well.