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Sydney Greek schools celebrate Easter with hat parades and cooking activities

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There was Easter hat parades, kolourakia making and red egg dying at All Saints Grammar, St Spyridon College and St Euphemia College to mark Greek Orthodox Easter this week.

We reached out to all three schools to hear how their students celebrated in the lead up to Anastasi, and this is what they had to say.

St Spyridon College:

* Written by Mrs A. Synesios, Principal at St Spyridon College, Junior School *

“Each year, during Holy Week, the children of St Spyridon College walk with Christ from His triumphant entry into Jerusalem, to His passion and glorious Resurrection.

From the youngest children in the school, our Kinder Minus One children to Year 12, the week is devoted to learning about the traditions and customs, the services, the chanting, the prayers and bible readings of Holy Week. According to their age and stage of development we practice patience, compassion, prayerfulness and watchfulness. We forgive and seek forgiveness knowing that only through Our Lord’s loving kindness are we saved. His Eminence Archbishop Makarios on Holy Tuesday evening reminded us that when we truly love God and our neighbour, every other care fades away and we live a joyous and peaceful life.

Each class at the Junior School participates in some traditional baking – Red Eggs, Koulourakia, Lambropites,  Augoules, Flaounes, Lazarakia and ka. Sarakosti. The children also make Palm Crosses and Lambathes. The boys serve in the altar at the services, the girls participate as flowergirls at the Epitaphios and many chant in the Engomia Choir on Good Friday night. The children embrace the opportunity to be involved.

These traditions and practices have been passed down from generation to generation and now to our children so that they may be shared with their children for the Glory of Christ and the hope that the resurrection brings.

May the joy of Christ’s resurrection bring health, peace and happiness to you all. We wish you all Καλή Ανάσταση!

Easter activities at St Spyridon College. Photos supplied.

All Saints Grammar:

“At the core of All Saints Grammar’s educational philosophy is the dimension of Cultural, Social, Spiritual Connection,” a spokeswoman for the school writes.

“The lived experience of this dimension means that our school deliberately creates opportunities for students to learn the value of connectedness, in providing them with a sense of belonging which enhances the development of their personal identity. Our Greek Orthodox Faith is at the core of this educational dimension.

As such, All Saints Grammar students from PreKinder to Year 12 have participated in various Easter activities, commencing with Kindergarten to Year 12 students attending the Holy Liturgy of the Pre-sanctified Gifts at All Saints Church on Holy Monday. Students received palm crosses made by All Saints Parish and Community, in which many of our students were involved. 1700 crosses were made, then blessed and handed out to the many faithful attending the Palm Sunday Holy Liturgy.  The symbol of the cross reminds us of Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem and His victory over death. 

Holy Liturgy of the Pre-sanctified Gifts at All Saints Church. Photos supplied.

Educating our students on the meaning and relevance of our liturgical celebrations is a core part of our efforts. Participating in a presentation of “Εληνορθόδοξο Πάσχα,” students learned about the significance of each day of Holy Week, highlighting the religious and cultural aspects of the Greek Orthodox Easter.

Our younger students from PreKinder to Year 2 also gathered in the Gymnasium for the 2021 Easter Hat Parade. While the parade is a fun activity that encourages creativity and community engagement, the main purpose of this parade is to create a sense of community where our students can gain a sense of belonging and identity. It was the first parade experience for many of the students, so the atmosphere was electric with dancing, clapping, cheering and even a visit from the Easter Bunny. 

Cultural, Social, Spiritual Connections, based on the Hellenic heritage and Greek Orthodox Faith, is an essential part of the holistic education offered at All Saints Grammar.

Our School, together with the Parish and Community of All Saints Belmore & Districts, would like to wish everyone a Blessed Easter. May the spiritually-filled Feast of the Holy Resurrection of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ fill our lives with peace and hope. Καλό Πάσχα.”

St Euphemia College:

Prep and Infant students at St Euphemia College got creative this Greek Orthodox Easter as they took part in an Easter Hat Parade on Friday, April 23 at 9am.

Students from St Euphemia College with their Easter hats. Photos: Facebook.

Held in the Peter Theophilou Wing of the school hall, the students performed Easter songs, such as ‘Jesus is Alive,’ in front of parents, who had huge smiles on their faces.

The event concluded with all students posing proudly for photos with the Easter hats.

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