There were plenty of Easter-related activities on offer at Greek schools across Sydney this year including cute hat parades, koulourakia making and book fairs.
To find out more, The Greek Herald reached out to All Saints Grammar, St Spyridon College, St Euphemia College and the schools of the Greek Orthodox Community of NSW (GOCNSW), and this is what they had to say.
All Saints Grammar:
On Friday, April 1, students from All Saints Grammar in Belmore gathered to participate in the Pre-sanctified Liturgy. This service is only performed on weekdays during the period of Great Lent and was a great opportunity for the school community to come together and prepare for the great feast of Pascha.
At the same time, students have also been undertaking many activities in their Orthodoxy classes to celebrate Easter. This includes the creation of their own miniature Epitaphs, making koliva for psihosavato, crafting St Lazarus collages, creating palm crosses, making Easter cards, various red egg activities and even making their own tsourekia.
Students have also participated in the liturgical life of the local parish by assisting in the Holy Altar, chanting and even decorating the Holy Icon for the ‘Salutations of the Theotokos.’
During the final week of the school term, All Saints Grammar also hosted the Orthodox Book Fair in the school’s library, as well as their annual Easter hat parade for students from Pre-Kinder to Year 3. This parade signals the end of a wonderful term full of learning and adventures for students.
St Spyridon College:
Each year, the students of St Spyridon College are immersed in the Greek Orthodox Easter customs and traditions.
The Orthodox Studies lessons, chanting of the Lamentations and Christos Anesti, the dyeing of the red eggs, the making of koulourakia and palm crosses and the other activities, allow the students to walk with Jesus during Holy Week to His Crucifixion and glorious Resurrection.
With all the senses engaged, this lived experience helps the students to participate in the Church services with greater understanding.
The students are the future of our Church and they willingly and enthusiastically want to be involved. When you see the children at the foot of The Cross on Holy Thursday evening, accompanying The Holy Epitaphio on Good Friday and standing with their candles at the Resurrection Service while chanting Christ is Risen, you cannot but be moved.
St Euphemia College:
Students from St Euphemia College in Bankstown also got into the Easter spirit with an Easter hat parade.
Prep to Year 2 students took part in an assembly where they sang a variety of Christian Easter songs, other modern Easter songs and Greek songs.
The students then paraded in front of all their family and friends and showcased their bright and colourful Easter hats, which were made with love at home.
The Education Department of the GOCNSW organised an Easter holiday program this year. The program was held on April 13 and April 20.
The children who attended learned about the Greek Orthodox traditions of Palm Sunday, Holy Week, the significance of the lambatha and the red eggs. They were all very creative and made their own lambathes with colourful ribbons, wooden Easter bunnies, cars, dinosaurs and even tiaras.
With the help of their teachers and Chef Ari, the children also learned how to make koulourakia. The children even got to paint their own Easter eggs and did many Easter crafts, including making their own Easter baskets.
The program ended with lots of singing and dancing.