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It's that time of year again! And so many people don't know what to get their father figures. Here is a list of a few examples that I have compiled and gifted throughout the years. Let me know what you think!

-A coffee cup set
-Tavli board
-Soccer jersey
-Handwritten note
-Photo album
-A nice koboloi, you can find some great ones online or buy them from a Greek store. Here is an Esty shop that sells them and ships internationally https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/491...0OfCQpfZurgBrcOYXCnzO4xJ-nIWFNYxoCIXUQAvD_BwE


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It can be very difficult for me to choose gifts for men. As a girl, I can know what my mother, grandmother, sister, or friend needs and buy the thing they really want. Sometimes I think that the list of gifts for men is so small that it is almost impossible to make a choice. At times like this, I turn to GiftLab for help. Personalized gifts are the best option if you don't know what to give your loved one. For Father's Day, I ordered a personalized notebook for my dad. It is not only a beautiful thing but also useful. Such a gift was a great option to please my dad and remind him how much I love him.
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How do you play Tavli?

Is Tavli the same as backgammon? Do you know how I would learn to play?

I don't have anyone I can think of who knows. Maybe an online game? If you have any resources you can recommend, I appreciate it.

Greek Pomegranates Tradition for Christmas

Pomegranates are associated with Greece during Christmas, and I never quite understood why. So I looked it up! Here is some information from my notes - feel free to chime in and add anything Im ay have missed:

In Greece, one of the most prominent traditions is the use of pomegranates. The pomegranate is not only a symbol of Greek culture but is also associated with the story of Persephone, who was allowed to return to her mother, Demeter, after eating six pomegranate seeds.

They are used to decorate homes, tables, and even churches. Greeks believe that the pomegranate symbolizes prosperity, good luck, and fertility. It is also believed to bring good health and protect against evil spirits.

During Christmas Eve, Greeks use pomegranates to decorate the traditional Christopsomo, which is a type of sweet bread that is baked in a round shape. The pomegranate is placed in the center of the bread, which is then sprinkled with sesame seeds and decorated with a cross to signify the birth of Jesus Christ.

Another tradition involving pomegranates is the game of breaking them open. Greeks enjoy playing the game where they throw a pomegranate to the ground, and whoever is the first to break open the fruit will have good luck for the entire year. Greeks believe that the more seeds they find inside, the more luck and prosperity they will have in the new year.

Pomegranates are also used in the Greek Orthodox Church during the blessing of the waters ceremony. This ceremony takes place on January 6th, which is the day of Epiphany, commemorating the baptism of Jesus Christ by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. The priest throws a cross into the waters, and young men dive into the water to retrieve it. After the cross is retrieved, the priest blesses the water with holy oil and a pomegranate. The pomegranate is then thrown into the water to bring prosperity and good luck to the community.

Learning Greek Dancing for a Wedding

I need to teach some people how to Greek dance for a wedding, and I wanted to share my notes on the process in case you all have anything to add. I can demo the dances, and I also found some videos online to show people. I was planning to video tape the lesson.

1. Understand the different types of Greek dances

Greek dances range from slow and romantic to fast and energetic. The most popular dances at Greek weddings include the Kalamatianos, Syrtos, Hasapiko, and Tsifteteli. The Kalamatianos is a slow dance in a circular formation, while the Syrtos features a circular line formation with hand-holding. The Hasapiko is a traditional solo dance, and the Tsifteteli is a popular belly dance style. Before you get on the dance floor, it helps to know which type of dance will be performed, so you can prepare yourself accordingly. I have to absolutely teach the kalamatianos since it goes with the traditional song.

2. Get familiar with the music

Greek music is a blend of traditional and modern styles, and often features the use of stringed instruments, like the bouzouki. To prepare for the wedding, listen to a few Greek wedding songs and get familiar with the beats and rhythms. Once you recognize the music, it'll be easier to catch the steps and dance along.

3. Start with the basics

If you're a beginner, don't try to learn the complicated moves right away. Start with the basics and gradually work your way up. For instance, the Kalamatianos starts with a simple step and pivot motion, while the Syrtos features a basic two-step motion. Youtube tutorials can help you learn the steps, but if possible, try to practice with a friend or family member, who can give you feedback and pointers.

4. Practice, practice, practice

Like with any new skill, practice is key. Set aside some time each day to practice the steps until you feel comfortable with the moves. As you practice, pay attention to your posture and footwork, and try to move with the rhythm of the music. Don't worry about getting it perfect, the most important thing is to have fun! We should ideally have more than one practice session, especially with the wedding party. Let's see if I can get everyone together.

Celebrating People

I have learned that Greeks, especially those in Greece, celebrate their name day. I want to be better at celebrating people's name days!

While birthdays are celebrated annually on a specific date, Greek Name Days (also known as Onomastiki Eorti) are celebrated on the feast day of the saint with whom the name is associated. For example, if your name is Sophia, your Name Day would be celebrated on September 17th, the day of the Saint Sophia. These Name Days are celebrated with family and friends, who offer their best wishes and gifts to the honored individual. Celebrations can range from simple gatherings to elaborate parties, and many families take these traditions quite seriously.
Share and discuss Greek traditions related to Greek weddings, christenings, dance & holidays!

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