Matthew Leonidis & Theo Karapanagiotis. Theo Karapanagiotis & Matthew Leonidis

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Comenius ProjectTrain for Europe TheComenius Express

THE GREEK TEAM: Model Experimental Junior High School of the University of Macedonia, ThessalonikiUhersk Hradit, the Czech Republic17th 21st Sept, 2012Matthew Leonidis & Theo Karapanagiotis1Who gives you presents at Christmas ? As in almost all Christian countries gifts are brought by Santa Claus, but, in fact, the symbolism refers to St. Vasileios. St. Vasileios was one of the three Great Hierarchs (Arch bishops) for the Greek Orthodox Church still celebrated as the Patrons of Education because they were very educated and wise men.His region was subject to high taxing and therefore all citizens offered their jewellery and other valuables but they were never collected by the officials. So, they were put in pies and offered back to the people. This is how our tradition of the New Year pie with the lucky coin in it started. St. VasileiosTheo Karapanagiotis & Matthew Leonidis

The Legend of Santa Claus and Agios/Saint Vasileios

Surprisingly, the distribution of Christmas gifts to children involves two Orthodox saints, two different people, both of which were GREEKS, both of which were bishops. For the countries of the West, the one who brings gifts to the poor and the children is ST NIKOLAOS or Santa Claus. In Greece we celebrate St. Nicolaos on December 6th and is considered the patron of seafarers. In the History of St. Nicholas as the protector of the poor and the children, the people of North Holland, Finland etc. mixed elements of ancient myths, such as the elves, the star of the north, sledding, etc. So, the myth of Santa Claus reached our country, an overweight type with round glasses, white beard, red suit and magical abilities, who lives in the North Pole and is surrounded by fairies of snow and elves: a truly charming story. But children and adults must realize that Santa Clause bears no relation to the real saints of the Greek Orthodox Church, Agios/Saint Vasileios and Agios/Saint Nicholas.http://www.topapi.gr/oldversion/330b.html2What is your traditional Christmas meal ?The traditional Christmas meal in our country mainly consists of fried pork pieces as well as stuffed turkey.

Matthew Leonidis & Theo Karapanagiotis

Describe your traditional costumes. When do you wear them ?Costume For MenOur traditional costume consists of a white shirt, a white skirt (foustanella) and a vest of different colors named fermeli which is very difficult to construct. Apart from these, basic role in our traditional costume play the tsarouchia which are the traditional shoes.Traditional costumes are only worn in national celebrations.Costume For Women Of course, there are traditional dresses/costumes for women. Some of them you can see in the following link

FoustanellaEmbroidered vestTsarouchiaTheo Karapanagiotis & Matthew Leonidis

Do you have a feast typical of your country ? In my country there is a feast which is called Clean Monday also known as Pure Monday or Lent Monday (the equivalent to Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday for the British or the Mardi Gras as the Americans call it) and it is a movable feast that occurs at the beginning of the 7th week before the Greek Orthodox Easter Sunday. Clean Monday is a public holiday in Greece and Cyprus celebrated with outdoor excursions. During this feast eating meat, poultry and dairy products are traditionally forbidden to the Greek Orthodox Christians as it is the first day of Lent and marks the 40-day fasting period before Easter. Traditionally we eat seafood and we fly colourful kites.

Matthew Leonidis & Theo KarapanagiotisDo you celebrate any special day ?(Mothers Day, Childrens day, Establishment of you country, etc.)We celebrate the establishment of our country on 25th March. Furthermore, we also celebrate Mothers day and Fathers day which are very important for us since we have a unique relationship with our whole family !

Theo Karapanagiotis & Matthew LeonidisEaster is the most important celebration for the Greek Orthodox Christians. Most people fast for 40 days. On Easter Sunday many Greeks, especially in the villages, traditionally grill the lamb on a skew and have some time with their families.They also . red eggs. In the following link you can find Greek Easter recipes!

How do you celebrate Easter? Matthew Leonidis & Theo Karapanagiotis

7Do you celebrate Halloween / All saints Day / Autumn feast ? We may not celebrate Halloween but we have the Tsiknopempti, which is a Thursday during the 3rd week of the 3-week Carnival period when everyone dresses up what they want and have barbeques. This is where it took its name from: the smell of burning flesh !

8What is the religion of your country ?The Greek Orthodox denomination, Christianity, which represents the majority of the population, is constitutionally recognized as the "prevailing religion" of Greece. Other Christian doctrines are Catholicism and Protestantism and other religions are Judaism and Islam.

Matthew Leonidis & Theo KarapanagiotisDo people in your country go to church regularly ?Generally, the Greek people are considered to be very religious. Many people in Greece attend the Sunday Services/Mass. The majority of the population also attend the Services during Christmas and most certainly during the Holy Week at Easter. At the end of these Services/Masses people also receive the Holy Communion.

Theo Karapanagiotis & Matthew LeonidisCould you show us your traditional dance and sing a traditional song? (You can prepare a short performance or record a video.)

Theo Karapanagiotis & Matthew Leonidis

You can find the video here : http://youtu.be/dbmoH1nuXCY11Theo Karapanagiotis & Matthew LeonidisThank you very much!