Monday, May 28, 2012

Olivia’s Christening

The baptism ceremony is another important ritual in the Greek family tradition and is almost as big a function as a wedding. We find ourselves at the Greek church in Blacktown to attend the christening of little Olivia – the daughter of Steve’s cousin Maria and her husband Shannon who we see fairly often given they live in our part of the world.

Choosing the God parents is an important part of this tradition because it not only brings with it certain responsibilities toward the child but creates a bond between the families that will last a lifetime.  Naming a child in Greek tradition is also steeped in ritual which can vary depending on the island from which you come from.  Generally, it means that your child is named after his/her grandfather or grandmother but the rules vary about the order in which each side of the family gets first dibs!  Most Greeks owe their names to a religious saint and another common tradition is the name day celebration where your name is celebrated on a certain day of the year by the church. 

The Orthodox church is quite beautiful with colourful murals that depict biblical stories adorning the walls and windows.  The Baptism ritual starts with the God parent renouncing Satan on behalf of the baby – a sort of exorcism.  The priest then spits toward the west wind to end the exorcism and in damnation of Satan and then pronounces the life of Christ by professing the faith toward the East wind.

The baby is then brought in to the church in a procession, anointed in holy oil and lowered into the baptismal font 3 times.  It is a cold day and I feel for little Olivia as she is lowered into the water.  Her squeals indicate she is less then impressed with this ritual!

Olivia's Christening

After the ceremony is over, we file past to wish the family well and drive into the City for a wonderful reception.  It is quite a formal affair with speeches and little gifts for the guests – the first in a series of celebrations that will mark the life of this little girl.


Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can. ~Danny Kaye

Caravan and Camping Show

One of the best things about Easter in Sydney is that the Caravan and Camping show is on in Roseville!  I have been to this show many times and was excited in that this time I could share the experience with Steve and introduce him to the many options for our future together.

  Caravan & Camping Show April 2012 (1)

The show has many displays that ignites in me a sense of excitement…and the options available for getting away from it all…from a basic tent to a home on wheels.  It’s lunch time when we arrive, so after indulging in a show favourite – a spicy Kransky – we get down to business.

We are after a tent as my old two person tent is ready to be replaced with something a bit fancier.  The best thing about the show is that you have al the options in one place and we settle for a 4 person Oztrail Blitz 240 that we get for a bargain price just because we picked the demo model. 

Oz Trail Blitz

Our wanderings finds us inside a building housing a number of vehicles and we discover the Trakka brand!  A great selection of campervans that have evolved over 35 years to be an amazing option for an Aussie camper home.  Our favourite is the Trakkadu – still small enough to serve as a car with an all wheel drive capability that will let you wander most of the off road trails in Australia. 








We are instantly captivated and find to our delight that the Trakka showrooms are in our backyard in Mt we make a mental note to take it for a test drive soon.  It is not often you find a vehicle with all the comforts of home from a TV, fridge and sink to a double bed that still has off road capability! 

It’s been a great day out and we leave knowing that we might have just found our next home away from home…

Greek Easter

Easter is a moveable feast in the Christian calendar which means that depending P1010083on the calendar you base your calculations on, the date on which Easter is celebrated will vary across denominations. 

Eastern Christians follow the Orthodox calendar and this year Greek Easter fell on the weekend after the Protestant and Catholic Easter so we have a double celebration.  In the Orthodox world, every other religious celebration including Christmas is secondary to Easter.  For Greeks an Easter feast involves the traditional lamb on a spit with many accompanying dishes including fresh seafood and salad. We’ve all come to celebrate at Steve’s parents house and as we enter we exchange the greeting Christos Anesti meaning Christ has risen to which the response is Alithos Anesti meaning truly He has risen.  

For most Christians Easter celebrations involve eggs and an Easter bunny and the Greeks are no different.  When it is time for lunch we gather around the table and the family chant a hymn before each person grabs a brightly coloured egg and engages in a game of trying to smash the egg of the person next to them while trying to keep their own intact.  It is a joyous day full of lively chatter and good food.  We leave late in the afternoon laden with more biscuits and Easter eggs that we will share with our friends in the week to come!

Greek Easter 2012

Families are like fudge - mostly sweet with a few nuts. ~Author Unknown