Posts Tagged ‘Holidays’

Epiphany 2012 in Tarpon Springs

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.

The Feast of the Dormition of Mary

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!

Lefkada, Greece

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.

Easter continued…

Unlike, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” the movie, my husband’s family is quite small and intimate. A brother and sister were missing, but even when the whole family is all together it is a very tame function; I cannot however say the same for my side of the family. My family in Texas must have some a lot of Greek spirit in them, because THEY are MY big fat Greek family. All of my aunts and cousins come over and are shouting all at the same time to be heard, everyone is in everyone else’s private business, and it is not a family get together if someone doesn’t cry or leave abruptly. You probably think I am exaggerating, I am not icon smile Easter continued... But enough about my family holidays, I don’t want to scare my Greek husband too much, he has only been around his in-laws for a while and still adores them all! What’s not to love about full blown honesty and letting someone know when they have gained a few pounds, right?Easter in Greece is very different for me. Besides the wonderful church celebrations and emphasis on Christ, there is also a huge stress on family and spending time celebrating all together, I just love that! We have eaten so much since Saturday night that I think it might be time for another brief fast. Here are our lunch tables: 1) Prepared my my wonderful mother-in-law, anything she makes turns into gold, seriously, she makes the most authentic and homemade Greek food I could ever imagine; 2) prepared by our only living yiayia (grandmother), she too has a great talent in the kitchen. I try to get them to teach me how to cook, but they insist that I will learn better then them, I only hope to become as great of a cook as either one of these wonderful ladies. 

Just some Greek coffee and fresh juice on a typical visit to yiayia’s house.
Easter2+30 Easter continued...

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!

Happy Independence Day, Greece!

Chronia Polla . . .  Happy Independence Day to all of my fellow Greeks! 
chapel++321 Happy Independence Day, Greece!
A little history for those who are interested! 

Greek culture and language, Orthodox Christianity, Roman political institutions, and a dominant Greek population held the eastern empire strong for the previous thousand years beofre May 29, 1453, when the Ottoman Turks captured Constantinople and all of Greece. For 368 years of Ottoman occupation, the Hellenic (Greek) people were second-class citizens at best, constantly subjected to heavy tax burdens, brutal slavery, and many many oppressions.
chapel++320 Happy Independence Day, Greece!

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. 

chapel++322 Happy Independence Day, Greece!
During the first year of the war, the Greeks captured back Monemvassia, Navarino (Pylos), Nafplion, Tripolitsa, Messolongi, Athens, and Thebes. Mavromichaelis, governor of Mani, sieged strategic Turkish garrisons and homes. But even worse, Turks retaliated in other areas of Greece, especially on the island of Chios (directly below Lesvos), where 25,000 civilians were massacred just to try and prove a point

chapel++323 Happy Independence Day, Greece! Happy Independence Day, Greece!

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

chapel++325 Happy Independence Day, Greece!
I am proud to help celebrate Greek freedom, and I couldn’t imagine my life without a certain amazingly handsome and charming Greek of my own! As a matter of fact, everyone should get their own Greek to love icon smile Happy Independence Day, Greece!
PS. The adorable pictures are from today’s parade, the children all dress in the traditional outfits and proudly walk through their village waving the Greek flag!!!

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St. Basil and Santa Claus

Santa Claus in Greece is not the same person; according to the Greek tradition, the equivalent of the Western Santa Claus is Agios Vasiis or Vasilios or St Basil, who comes from Caesarea in Asia Minor.  His story is quite similar to the one of St Nicholas; he was a kind-hearted and helpful man, who was aiding the poor and needy ones while he was bishop in Caesarea. According to the Greek tradition, St. Basil brought practical aid to the poor, so he was considered as someone who brings “gifts”.

Agios Vassilios was far from chubby though; he was a tall, thin man with a black beard and black penetrating eyes. He died on January 1st 379 AD. and the Greek Orthodox Church celebrates his memory on January 1st. This is why most presents are given on New Year’s Eve and not Christmas, although modern families give something on both days.
This is also why the main sweet of New Year in Greece bears his name, Vasilopita. 
Today, is also my husband’s name day. We have many reasons to celebrate these past two weeks: Christmas, New Years, St. Vasilis, and on January 3rd is our 1 year anniversary. Instead of exchanging gifts, we are taking a small holiday to the island just south of us, Chios. I plan to take lots of pictures and will eagerly share with you when we return. We also hope you will remember us on Monday and “yia mas” drink to our health and happiness!
stbasil St. Basil and Santa Claus
Preparation of heart is unlearning the prejudices of evil converse. It is the smoothing the waxen tablet before attempting to write on it. ”    St. Basil the Great

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Hi! My name is Jacquline. Welcome to my blog. I hope you will find some delicious Greek food recipes and enjoy the read along the way! Kali Orexi :)


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