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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12 Bible Verses For Faith In Hard Times

Remind yourself that God is always with you.
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Lately, I have felt lost at what God wants for my life. Ever since I've come back to UWG everything has been horrible. It seems that I can't catch a break. I'm trying my best to focus on school, work, and extracurricular activities. But it's hard when I'm having issues with my apartment/roommates and knowing my family back home is struggling and needs many prayers. All, I keep thinking is maybe Carrollton isn't where I belong anymore. I've asked God if He can guide me in the right direction. Below, I have found Bible verses that have helped get me through these rough, past couple of weeks.

1. Isaiah 43:2

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you."

2. Psalm 37:5

"Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in Him, and He will act."

3. Romans 8:18

"The pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming."

4. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed in strength, and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."

5. Joshua 1:9

"Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous."

6. Ecclesiastes 3:1

"There is a time for everything and a reason for every activity under the heavens."

7. Isaiah 41:10

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

8. Isaiah 66:9

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord."

9. Psalm 91:4

"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

10. Psalm 62:1-2

"My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him, He alone is my rock and my salvation."

11. Philippians 4:13

"I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."

12. Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

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Bible Verses To Bring You Comfort

When times get tough and are stressful, here are some bible verses that can help.

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As a typical, insanely stressed out college student, I know that it is that point in the year that everything seems to hit you at once. The stress and anxiety from school and other things going on in my personal life sometimes just make me want to curl up in a ball and pretend it will all just solve itself. Unfortunately, this doesn't work. I have found that the only comfort I get during all of this is from God. Reading a bible verse everyday when I am at the point of wanting to quit, brings me peace and helps me continue on.

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you." Isaiah 43:2

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33

"Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7

"When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy." Psalm 94:19

"Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

"Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit"

Psalm 34:18

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

I hope that you can read each of these verses and feel comforted by the One that truly loves and cares for you. Pray to God about anything and everything because I promise, He is listening. He is there to take care of everything and His support and love are never ending. He will always be there for you, no matter what. Times might be tough right now but always remember that stress isn't permanent but God is.

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