St. Helen, Sweet Basil, and the Holy Cross

September 14th marks yet another important Feast Day in the Greek Orthodox Church. It’s the day a woman born in obscurity would find something highly regarded by much of today’s world.

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Greek Lagana Bread Recipe & the Tradition of “Clean Monday”

20200301_203124The first day of Lent in Greece is a bit of an oddity.  For many, a strict Lenten fast will be observed in reverence to the solemnity of the time leading up to Pascha (Easter), while also frolicking and picnicking, and generally having a jolly good time!

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Christopsomo (Greek Christmas Bread)

20191224_074923Greeks like bread.  No… we LOVE bread.  There is literally a bread made specifically for every main holiday, and this doesn’t even cover the bread used daily and in religious ceremonies!

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Bath Time!

IMG_1698This last weekend was a little busier than our typical Thanksgiving holidays are.  My grandson was baptised on Saturday into the Greek Orthodox faith.  It was kind of a big day.

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Greek Mountain Tea

20191115_124531Greeks are coffee drinkers, viewing tea as something consumed for health rather than enjoyment.  But there’s no rule that you can’t enjoy something you do for your health, now is there?

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Agia Paraskevi (Saint Friday)

Imagine not being able to see the words on your screen.  Imagine not being able to see anything.  Imagine having that all miraculously change.  I’m hoping I won’t have to imagine it.

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It’s Not Easter, Yet

20190422_173817It never fails, people will kindly wish me “Happy Easter”, prompting an internal conflict I have yet to resolve.  Because most of the time, it won’t be Easter for me, yet!

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Tsoureki (Greek Easter Bread)

20190422_203916There is something special about food traditionally made for holidays.  Even though you could make it at any time of the year, you don’t because it would just be all sorts of wrong to do so.

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March 25th: a Greek 2-for-1-Special Holiday

zitoIf you happen to live in a city outside of Greece that has a large population of Greek diaspora, you may have noticed big parades of men proudly wearing skirts and carrying the Greek flag every March 25th (or some day close to it).

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A Baby is Blessed

20181015_144043Last Sunday was a special day for my family.  My new grandson was brought to church for the first time following the same kind of practice going back thousands of years.  The same practice as when Jesus was brought to the synagogue when he was a baby.

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Do You Believe In Miracles?

I’m not talking about beautiful sunsets, stunning wildlife, or Abe Lincoln’s likeness in a potato chip.  I’m talking inexplicable, logic defying phenomena that emotionally moves you to the core.  I do.

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Great Lent

13131646_10209283437745925_7332453790807098832_oAh, Great Lent.  That multi-week period of time where every orthodox child develops a love-hate relationship with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

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Happy New Year, the Greek Way

New Year’s celebrations seem to be rather universal.  Parties with friends, booze with friends, food with friends, fireworks and/or gunshots with friends.  You know… the usual.

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Feast Days in the Orthodox Church

In the Eastern Orthodox faith, days that commemorate a particular saint, holy event, or the angels are called feast days.  Is it called a feast day because there is a feast?  No.  Can food be part of the equation?  Yes.

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A Gathering of Greeks

20170929_200046If a bunch of cows is a herd, if geese gather in gaggles, and seagulls fly in a flock, what do you call a bunch of Greeks?  A good time, of course!  With lots and lots of food.  Lots of food.  Did I mention that there’s food?

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The Nativity of the Virgin Mary

nativity of theotokosSeptember 8th is the feast day of the Nativity (birth) of the Virgin Mary.  In Greek Orthodox tradition, feast days are holy days that commemorate significant events related to the church.  They may mark the births and/or deaths of saints, or other momentous occasions.  This particular feast day marks the day that Orthodox Christians commemorate the birth of the Virgin Mary.  In Greek she is called the Theotokos, or Mother of God.

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Greeks and their “Pets”

kittiesAs far as I can tell, Greeks in Greece don’t actually own pets. I will admit that this presumption is based on limited observations, but I’ve really never seen anyone there with the stereotypical pet. One of my cousins once had some small birds (parakeets, I think), but I just don’t recall ever seeing anyone with pets like dogs or cats. Now don’t get me wrong, cats and dogs are definitely there. They just don’t seem to “belong” to anyone.

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