Not Your Average Holidays

Greek Orthodox Life

Thanksgiving for my family is different because I’m Greek, but we also do American traditions as well. We have turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and much more, but we also have lamb, baklava, spinach pies and other great foods.

“The lamb sounds gross, it’s very delicious,” said Anthony Incantalupo.

We have lots of family and friends that come over for Thanksgiving, and it takes hours and hours to prepare for the big meal.

“My house is like a orphanage, we take in everyone for Thanksgiving,” said Cathy Koutsoumbaris.

As the most wonderful time of the year comes around we say Kala Christougenna!! That means Merry Christmas in Greek. When I go to my Grandma’s and Grandpa’s house I say “Kala Christougenna Grandma and Grandpa.”

For Christmas we have many traditions. We celebrate both American and Greek Christmas. For Christmas Eve we go to my Grandma’s and Grandpa’s house. My Grandma makes many great meals, but she only makes them for Christmas.

“I wish my Grandma would make the food all year long, it’s so good,” said Dani Incantalupo.

We all gather together with our families and exchange gifts and make wishes with each other. Then on Christmas day we play games and we show each other what we got for Christmas.

As the most wonderful time of the year comes to an end, it’s time to get out your baskets and fill them with eggs. Greek Orthodox Easter is not on the regular Easter Sunday, it is normally about 2 weeks after. During Easter we have many traditions. One of the traditions is going to church. We go two nights in a row.

The first night you light up your candles and walk the church parking lot while four men hold Jesus Christ and lead you around twice.

The second night you go to church at 11 o’clock and stand outside the church. Then at 12 o’clock we go home and have a big feast, from lemon soup to cheese pies.

“Liver soup and lemon soup are the best part of the dinner,” said Jerry Koutsoumbaris.

My favorite tradition about Greek Easter is dyeing the easter eggs. We dye the eggs all red to represent the new life. The red means the life, blood, and victory of Jesus Christ. After we sit down and eat we use these eggs to play a game called tsougrisma.

How to play Tsougrisma:

  1. Everyone grabs a red egg and a partner. (Choose Carefully)
  2. You and your partner bang your eggs together.(you want to crack your partner’s egg)
  3. Who ever wins moves on to the next person.
  4. The one who lost eats their egg and enjoys watching everyone play.
  5. The one person who beats everyone is declared winner and has good luck for the rest of the year.