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kcixcy

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I noticed our Easter is late - May 5th - but Western Easter is at the end of March. Has Lent already started for them? When does our Lent start?

This year, I plan to do a stricter Lenten fast, so I want to plan some things out in advance.

Lent is a time for introspection, repentance, and spiritual growth. Through the dedicated practice of fasting, prayer, and charity, believers seek not only to grow closer to God but also to better understand themselves in relation to God’s will.
 
This year the dates for Greek Orthodox lent is: Monday, March 18, 2024 ending on Saturday, May 4, 2024
 
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Yes, Easter is late. With Holy Week plus Lent, that makes Lent starting on March 18th.
 

Tips for Learning and Teaching Greek

I know how to speak Greek okay, but I am not great at it. I want to brush up on my skills, and I also want to teach some of my family members. I am good enough at it to the learn the basics. I am looking for advice, but I've also compiled some ideas:

1. Spend an extended period of time in Greece

There’s no better way to learn Greek than to immerse yourself in the language and culture of Greece. If you have the opportunity, consider spending an extended time in Greece, studying or working, taking a sabbatical, or just exploring the country. Living in Greece can help you understand the nuances of the language, such as the different accents, dialects, and slang that are used. You’ll also have the chance to practice your Greek with locals, watch Greek TV or films, and read Greek books or newspapers. I would imagine this is the best way to learn fast!

2. Use a language program

If you can’t travel to Greece or you prefer a more structured approach to learning Greek, consider using a language program. There are many language programs available online or in your local area, ranging from self-paced courses to interactive classes. Some popular language programs for Greek include Rosetta Stone, Duolingo, and Pimsleur. From what I understand these are all great options and I can learn at my own pace.

3. Take classes

Taking classes is another excellent way to learn Greek, especially if you prefer face-to-face interaction and feedback. You can find Greek language classes in community colleges, universities, language schools, or private tutors. Taking classes can help you improve your Greek skills, such as listening, speaking, reading, and writing. You’ll have a teacher who can guide you through the learning process, answer your questions, and give you homework or assignments that challenge you. You’ll also have classmates who share your passion for Greek and can practice with you.

4. Find ways to immerse yourself outside of Greece

Even if you can’t go to Greece or attend classes, you can still immerse yourself in Greek in your daily life. One way is to find Greek-speaking communities or events in your area, such as cultural centers, festivals, or meetups. You can also use online resources to connect with Greek speakers, such as language exchange websites, social media groups, or chat apps. Listening to Greek music, watching Greek videos or podcasts, or reading Greek literature can also help you familiarize yourself with the sounds and patterns of the language.

Honestly, I plan to try all 4 - whatever I can do. I think it will all help.

Greek Wedding Traditions Roundup

I am helping someone plan her Greek wedding. I wanted to make a list of all the traditions we need to keep in time for the big day. Did I miss anything?

The Stolisma

The wedding day begins with the ritual of 'Stolisma,' where the bride and groom are prepared separately by their families. It's a moment filled with emotion, songs, and blessings, setting the tone for the day. I had honestly never heard of this. Do people still do it?

The Krevati

An amusing tradition is the 'Krevati' (bed making), where family and friends gather to decorate the couple's future bed with baby items, symbolizing fertility and a happy family life. Money is also often thrown on the bed for good luck and prosperity.

The Crowning (Stefana)

One of the most iconic rituals during the ceremony is the exchange of crowns or 'Stefana.' I believe they need to buy the crowns they want in advance?

Koufeta

No Greek wedding would be complete without 'Koufeta'—sugar-coated almonds given to guests as wedding favors. These bittersweet treats represent the ups and downs of married life and are shared in odd numbers to symbolize indivisibility and shared life.

When does Orthodox lent start this year?

I noticed our Easter is late - May 5th - but Western Easter is at the end of March. Has Lent already started for them? When does our Lent start?

This year, I plan to do a stricter Lenten fast, so I want to plan some things out in advance.

Lent is a time for introspection, repentance, and spiritual growth. Through the dedicated practice of fasting, prayer, and charity, believers seek not only to grow closer to God but also to better understand themselves in relation to God’s will.

Greek Name Days Celebrations

I have been encouraging my family and friends to let me know when their name days are. I know for my immediate family, of course, but I want to start honoring name days in addition to birthdays like they do in Greece.

But aside from wishing someone Chronia Polla, or happy name day, what else can we do? How do people in Greece celebrate? Is it much like a birthday?

Gift Ideas for Greek Christenings

I've had to go to a log of Greek Christenings lately, which means that I know exactly what to do when it comes to gift. I have noticed some gifts traditionally appear. Aside from money, which is also appropriate, here are some ideas:

1. Icons
In Greek religion and culture, icons are considered not just as works of art but as holy objects that help people feel closer to God. Gifting an icon is an incredibly powerful way of expressing love and well wishes to the baby. An icon symbolizes a bond that will stay with the child for a lifetime, and it can hang in their room for years to come. It is an unusual and thoughtful gift that will make a lasting impact.

2. Silver Baby Spoon and Fork Set
A silver baby spoon and fork set is an elegant and memorable gift idea. In Greek culture, silverware is traditional, signifying the precious nature of the sacrament. It is both practical and meaningful and can be passed down through the generations.

3. Christening Outfit
If you're looking for a less traditional gift idea, consider gifting a beautiful christening outfit. This is typically taken care of by either the parents or godparents, so I would check before you buy something.

4. Book of Blessings
A book of blessings containing prayer and passages of faith is an exceptional gift. It is a sentimental and thoughtful gift that will go a long way in nurturing the baby's faith and spiritual growth. Moreover, it is something that the child can revisit years later, reminding them of the love and support they received from their family and friends at the Christening.
Share and discuss Greek traditions related to Greek weddings, christenings, dance & holidays!

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