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Celebrating Greek Easter!

Celebrating Greek Easter!

Celebrating Greek Easter!

The arrival of spring, the beginning of a new season of growth and the celebration of Greek Easter is the highlight of April for many families. Here are a few ideas to work into your Easter celebrations!

There are so many great things happening around Greek Easter that, as a family, we always try to make the most of every opportunity to be together and make memories. Singing, dancing and enjoying songbooks are a few of the ways that we enjoy our time together. 

Let's Celebrate Greek Easter

  • Greek Easter as a Family
  • Why is Easter in Greece Different?
  • Greek Nursery Rhymes

Greek Easter as a Family

Anytime we get the chance to spend time together as a family, we make sure to make it a very special moment. We love to read books to our kids, do fun Easter activities and chat about the roots of why we celebrate this holiday. Our kids enjoy the family time, the food and the festive atmosphere that comes with Easter, but they don’t quite understand why we celebrate the way we do. 

That’s why putting together a list of ideas was important for me. All families celebrate Easter in their own ways but when you have a busy life, finding fun ways to celebrate Greek Easter with your kids can be challenging. Especially if you want to mix it up and have some new and exciting activities to do with your kids while still honoring the holiday.

tsoureki, greek easter, greek food

Why is Easter in Greece Different?

Greek Easter is the same holiday as regular Easter, only celebrated on different days. The Easter celebrations in Greece are slightly different from Orthodox Christian Easter celebrations. Here are some fun Easter activities for your family, bringing a little bit of Greece into your celebrations! 

  • Eating 
  • Food is a significant part of the Easter celebrations in Greece. There are several staples like slow-roasted lamb. There is also Tsoureki, which is a plaited, sweet bread that symbolizes the holy spirit and it is served as a dessert. Finally, there is Mayiritsa, a soup that is made of lamb or goat offal.

  • Dying Eggs Red
  • This one is always a blast for the kids. Dying eggs red symbolizes the blood of Christ, His victory of life over death and on top of that, this makes for a great family activity. Tsougrisma, is also a really fun game you play where you try and crack another person’s eggs by hitting it against your own!

  • Reading Books 
  • This one is our personal favorite! We have our Greek Nursery Rhymes book which has a great sense of history and tradition, and the kids love to record and sing along. It’s also a way to encourage them to learn about their heritage and create memories that will expose them to that culture.

    Greek Nursery Rhymes 

    greek nursery rhymes

    Greek nursery rhymes have survived through centuries and have been passed down from generation to generation. At Cali’s Books, we have captured them and put them together into a great book for the kids, with beautiful illustrations, high-quality sound and interactive play capabilities. These are the songs we have in our Greek Nursery Rhyme collection. 

    greek rabbit, greek nursery rhymes

  • Ah! Kounelaki Αχ κουνελάκι
  • This is a song about a little rabbit who wiggles his ears and plays hide-and-seek in the cabbage patch. The little rabbit also gets in trouble for digging holes in the neighbor’s yard. As you can imagine, this song is perfect for singing and acting out while celebrating Greek Easter.

    You can wiggle your fingers like bunny eats, pretend to be digging holes in the neighbor’s yard or even hiding in the cabbage patch. All this can be done while singing along with the music! 

    greek moon, greek nursery rhymes

  • Feggaráki mou labró Φεγγαράκι μου λαμπρό
  • This song is meant to represent the secret schools that Greek boys would go to under the Ottomans rule. According to these legends, they weren’t allowed to learn Greek or be taught about Christianity so they had to learn about these important aspects of their culture at night, under the stars. The lyrics are a plea to the moon, asking for the moon to light their way as they walk to school under the faint moonlight.

    greek butterfly, greek nursery rhymes

  • Mia Oraía Petaloúda Mια ωραία πεταλούδα
  • An enchanting song about a butterfly, how she looks and the cycles of her life. Some consider it a representation of the seasons but no matter what it is meant to represent, the kids love to flap their arms and lay down and pretend to be the butterfly as the song goes on. 

    playing ball, greek beach games, greek nursery rhymes

  • I Sfaíra Η Σφαίρα
  • I’m sure many kids are the same as mine when they are playing with a ball. It seems like they are enjoying life to the fullest! This wonderful song is about playing with a ball but also about its shape, the sphere. What a great way to get kids to be interested in learning shapes!

    sail boat, kids greek nursery rhymes

  • Ítan éna mikró karávi  Ήταν ένα μικρό καράβι
  • In English, this song is called, “There Was a Little Ship”. These lyrics are nice and simple for all children, talking about a small boat that never sailed away. The gentle and repeating words are calming and leave open to the imagination where such a wonderful little boat could go when it does finally sail away, or make up stories about why it hadn’t yet sailed anywhere yet. Fun for the family! 

    children games, greek nursery rhymes

  • Gíro Gíro óloi Γύρω γύρω όλοι
  • This song is made for a game that all the kids love to play. Essentially, they sing the words as they go around in a circle, all holding hands. In the center, there is one child standing. As the lyrics get to the point where they say, “everybody sits on the ground…” all of the kids sit down except for the one in the center. They sit at the last line of the song, which is the next line. 

     

    Happy Easter to You!

    greek book, baby greece

    Easter is one of the most beloved holidays celebrated across the world. These are special times to build memories and Cali’s Books are here to help you do just that. Enjoy singing Greek Nursery Rhymes and dancing with your kids in between all the food and festivities of your Greek Easter holiday.



    References


    1. Tsoureki, updated April 1, 2022, Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsoureki 
    2. Magiritsa, Updated July 25, 2021, Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magiritsa 
    3. Tsourisma/ Egg Tapping Game, April 2014, Lemon and Olive https://www.lemonandolives.com/tsougrisma-egg-tapping-game/ 
    4. Krifo Scholio, Updated March 20, 2022, Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krifo_scholio 
    5. Early childhood music education in the Mediterranean, 2016, ecmeinmediterranean http://www.ecmeinmediterranean.com/pdf/Manual Notations EN.pdf
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