Events

Greek Orthodox Christening Celebration

So you now have given birth to a lovely baby girl or boy.  What joy!

 

But now think about the first religious ritual in the Greek Orthodox tradition  — the Christening.  Christenings can be done at any age, but usually are done within the first year of birth as a rite of passage, as well as for practical reasons.

 

The traditions that surround a Greek Orthodox Christening ceremony vary between the regions of Greece, but all have common threads.

 

Choosing a Godparent:

The role of a godparent is to look after the spiritual development of the newborn.

In the Greek Orthodox tradition, you may have more than one Godparent but one must be a Greek Orthodox, and the others have to be Christians.  The godparents should be chosen from close friendships and admired as role models for the child.

In fact, the families of the Parents and the Godparents, were so close, that traditionally they would exchange becoming Godparents from one generation to the other with each others families.

 

Naming the Baby:

Traditionally the first born son of the male parent was expected to be named after his paternal grandfather.  This is discussed with the Godparent before the Christening, but ultimately the final decision is with the Godparent.  Many villages have come unhinged when this tradition is not observed.  So choose the Godparents carefully.

 

The Christening Ceremony:

The Greek Orthodox baptism is very distressing or even traumatic for a baby.   He or she is surrounded with unfamiliar faces and surroundings.  A word to the wise, the younger the baby, the better.

The religious ritual of course is of the utmost importance.  It is the first sacrament performed symbolizing that the child has now become a Greek Orthodox and is now part of God’s kingdom.  Among other religious symbolic acts performed within the religious ceremony, the child receives his first communion by his Godparent, and is presented by the Godparent with his first suit and coat, as well as a cross.  This symbolizes that he is now a Christian, and with God’s grace, he should always proceed in life with prosperity.

 

Festivities after the Religious Ceremony:

A celebration always follows the religious ceremony.   This gives an opportunity to the guest to offer their wishes to the “new Christian”.  And of course there is reciprocity of good wishes from guest to guest.  This of course is accompanied with hugs and kisses, a lot of laughter, good food and drinks, and more times than not, dancing and singing.

The guest shower the baby with loving gifts, and in return, the parents and/or godparents give all the guests a “bonbonniera” or better known today as a “favor”.

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The Rocking Baby Shower

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Traditionally a baby shower celebrates the pending birth of a child, by presenting gifts to the mother at a party hosted by a close friend or relative.

Initially a baby shower celebrated the first born child with all the anticipation and exhilaration associated with such birth, and simultaneously the transformation of the woman into motherhood.

Not knowing in the past the gender of the birth, the party was a simplified affair with the dominant color being the neutral color “yellow” that could apply to all instances.  But the sonograms of today have evolved the shower into a more personalized event with specialized themes, from the invitation to the favors and everything in between.

Last May, Vivia, from Floris Special Events in New York and Lewis Miller, from LMD Design, had the pleasure of putting together a customized baby shower for a very special little boy who was due to arrive late June.  The theme that was chosen was a “rocking horse” (used throughout) with the coordinating colors being blue and beige.

The invitations of the shower are of the utmost importance as the shower is the first event celebrating the forthcoming birth.  It should make it more than clear to the friends and relatives the gender of the baby, and as the shower is held a month or so before the actual birth, it announces that the happy day is around the corner.

A well thought out shower invitation starts the process of exciting your guests with pleasurable anticipation of all the festivities that are to follow. It should include the venue, the date and time, the hostess but most importantly the gift registry as this facilitates the gift buying for your guests and prevents receiving gift duplications.

It should be a memorable and joyful event for everyone attending but most importantly for the mother to be.  Laughter should be the thread that binds.

After eating and chatting by all the friends, the gifts are opened to share in the joy of the upcoming event.

Last but not least are the table of sweets, or preferably called “candy bar”, that is a “must” in such a gathering, signifying a wish for the baby that he should enjoy a lifetime of kindness, sweetness and love.  The ultimate of course, is to have Olivier Chang’s signature on this item.

Holy Week in Greece!

Holy Week in Christianity is the week immediately before Easter. Is the last week of the 50 days Lent that leads to Easter Sunday and the resurrection of Jesus Christ (of our souls, dreams and spirits)!

This year the Love Floris’ ladies spent it in the Greek islands! Here are some highlights of our great trip and some of our traditions:

Easter eggs dyed red on Good Thursday “Maundy Thursday” symbolize the blood of Christ. They are dyed in a big pot and then shined with olive oil. Following the Easter Tradition , on Holy Saturday’s midnight people in pairs hold an egg in their hand and hit it to their partners’s one to break it, before peeling them off to eat them! Saying at the exact moment of the “crush” that Jesus has resurrected!

Easter sweet cookies /(kulurakia)! A unique taste for both the eyes and the mouth! Can be offered in every house, accompanying Greek coffee or sweetening breakfast time!

Spending “Good Friday” at Prirgos in Santorini was an unforgettable experience. The mourning day of Jesus crucifixion commemorated with fires lit in metal baskets decorating the ledges of every house, offering magnificent view in the evening. The Love Floris’ ladies pay their respect to the icon of the crucified Jesus, felt the smelling surroundings of the Epitaph lilacs in the church. Afterwards tasted traditional pastry “melitini”, in a cozy (and reminding old times) local café at Kasteli, with the personal touch of Ms. Nafsika Lagada.