Celebrating Greek Easter

Celebrating Greek Easter

Why we celebrate.
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While everyone is getting ready for summer and starting or finishing finals, I'm getting ready for the holidays - Greek Easter! Greek Orthodox churches are known for their beautiful, ornate churches and liturgies, but they also have their own Easter. Even though many of us are used to hearing about "Greek life" in college, I'm talking about Greek heritage. Being second generation Greek, my grandma and other relatives are Greek Orthodox Christians. I have grown up celebrating Greek Easter, but I also celebrate the original Easter holiday as well.

You don't have to be specifically Greek Orthodox Christian to celebrate Greek Easter. To us, Greek Orthodox isn't a religion, it's our heritage. Like the Irish celebrate Saint Patrick's Day, we celebrate Greek Easter. To us, celebrating Greek Easter isn't a religious thing, it's a cultural thing.

Sometimes, Greek Easter and normal Easter will fall on the same Sunday, but this year Greek Orthodox Easter was celebrated May 1st. So why does the Greek Orthodox religion celebrate another Easter? For a couple of reasons.

The Orthodox Christian religion follows traditional Christian practices, so the Orthodox Church follows the traditional calendar, the Julian. Also, in order to maintain the Biblical sequence of Christ's passion, Easter must take place after the Jewish Passover. For further explanation you can look here.

Greek Easter is an important holiday in my family. To celebrate we get together with our extended family and celebrate the traditional Greek way.

Red Eggs

Like normal Easter, there is plenty of egg-dying involved. But it is a Greek tradition to only dye the eggs red. As I'm sure you've guessed, the red color is associated with Jesus's crucifixion on the cross; His blood that was shed for us. The Greek Orthodox church traditionally dyes the eggs red on holy Thursday.

Also, the eggs are only dyed using onion, not artificial egg and food dye.

Tsougrisma (τσουγκρισμα)

Before we eat our dyed red eggs, the whole family gets together to crack the eggs. Everyone gets an egg, and one on one, we each tap the top of our egg against the other's and see whose cracks and whose doesn't. Whoever's egg doesn't crack is the winner and has good luck throughout the year.

Lamb

Just like in the movies, we cook traditional Greek food. Like turkey on Thanksgiving, you have to have lamb on Greek Easter. In addition to having lamb as the main course, we also have lamb shaped cake. Besides lamb, we also have many other traditional Greek dishes as well.

As you can see, Greek Easter is a very important holiday for us. Celebrating Greek Easter is something I look forward to every year; it's the only day out of the year that gives my family and I an excuse to go all out and embrace our culture.

Cover Image Credit: sbs.com

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A Letter To My Go-To Aunt

Happiness is having the best aunt in the world.
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I know I don't say it enough, so let me start off by saying thank you.

You'll never understand how incredibly blessed I am to have you in my life. You'll also never understand how special you are to me and how much I love you.

I can't thank you enough for countless days and nights at your house venting, and never being too busy when I need you. Thank you for the shopping days and always helping me find the best deals on the cutest clothes. For all the appointments I didn't want to go to by myself. Thank you for making two prom days and a graduation party days I could never forget. Thank you for being overprotective when it comes to the men in my life.

Most importantly, thank you for being my support system throughout the numerous highs and lows my life has brought me. Thank you for being honest even when it isn't what I want to hear. Thank you for always keeping my feet on the ground and keeping me sane when I feel like freaking out. Thank you for always supporting whatever dream I choose to chase that day. Thank you for being a second mom. Thank you for bringing me into your family and treating me like one of your own, for making me feel special because you do not have an obligation to spend time with me.

You've been my hero and role model from the time you came into my life. You don't know how to say no when family comes to you for help. You're understanding, kind, fun, full of life and you have the biggest heart. However, you're honest and strong and sometimes a little intimidating. No matter what will always have a special place in my heart.

There is no possible way to ever thank you for every thing you have done for me and will continue to do for me. Thank you for being you.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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5 Facts About Spiritual Gifts That You Need To Know

Different gifts, but from the same Spirit

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1 Corinthians 12:4-5 states; "[4] There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. [5] There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord." We see that there are multiple spiritual gifts, but they all come from the same Lord.

1. We all have different gifts and that's okay

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Just like a body has different parts that each has its own function, that's like the body of Christ. We all have different gifts and different purposes, but we're all part of the body of Christ. God has a plan for you and has given you certain gifts. God doesn't call the equipped, he equips the calling.

2. There are various spiritual gifts mentioned in the Bible

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Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4 are some of the bible passages that talk about spiritual gifts. Giving, leadership, mercy, prophecy, service, tongue interpretation, administration, discernment, hospitality, missionary, and evangelism are some of the spiritual gifts that people can have. We can desire any gift, but it's God's choice on what gifts He gives us.

Remember, everyone can receive speaking in tongues via baptism in the Holy Spirit, but not everyone will get the gift of tongue interpretation.

3. Spiritual Gifts are supernatural abilities that are either given or enhanced via the Holy Spirit

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God gave us these Spiritual gifts because God wants to invest in His church.

4. Spiritual gifts are for strengthening others

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We have spiritual gifts in order to help others.

5. It does take time for gifts to mature and develop

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Like with a skill that you have, it does take time for you to own said skill. You put in the work, and because of that, you grow in your skill, and you get better. That's the same way with your gifts. God gives each of us certain gifts to use, and it will take time to mature those gifts.

Spiritual gifts are important.

In Romans 12:6 states; "[6] We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; [7] if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; [8] if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully."

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