17th November 1973 – A Day to Remember!
On the 17th of November 1973, a group of University students, barricaded inside Athens Polytechnic (Polytechneio), protesting the military junta that was ruling Greece since 1967.
Passionate and determined, they put into action what the majority of the population was desperate to express; by demanding freedom for all and inviting all Greek citizens to join them, they were a true testament of how significant change can often originate from the most spontaneous, honest actions. Press here to listen to an audio extract, broadcasted by Polytechneio’s amateur radio station, moments before the AMX 30 tank crashed through the gates leading to many injured and even killed.
Happy Father’s Day!
Father’s Day has been celebrated since the Middle ages on the 19th of March (which is also St Joseph’s Day); it became known to the Americas by the Spanish and the Portuguese. The original date is said to be the19th of March, however it gradually changed to the third Sunday of June for most of Europe- while Latin America largely still celebrates on the initial date.
It is a day of celebration not only of fathers but also fatherhood and its significance in a person’s life, and it complements festivals of similar nature such as Mother’s Day.
Mother Figures in Modern Greek Art
Mother as an inspiration for Modern Greek Art!
May Day has its roots in antiquity. It is the first day of May and signifies the commencement of spring celebrations. According to tradition, May took its name from the Roman deity Maia, named by the Greek word Maia (Μαία), which means nanny and mother.
Easter traditions in Greece
Orthodox Easter is filled with different customs and traditions related to the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. Many of these are still followed and celebrated all around Greece during the Holy Week (Μεγάλη Εβδομάδα), with the participation in each also being an opportunity for a social gathering.
One of the most popular traditions is dyeing eggs in a bright red colour. The custom originated amongst the early Christians of Mesopotamia, who stained eggs red to honour the blood of Christ. One can find many stories linked to the custom, most of which are associated with female figures, such as Mary Magdalene or Virgin Mary, and their connection to the crucifixion of Christ. In any case, the custom was adopted by the Christian Church and red eggs became a symbol of the resurrection.
Palm Sunday in Greece
On the Sunday before Easter and right before the beginning of the Holy Week (Μεγάλη Εβδομάδα in Greek), the Christian Church celebrates one of its most joyous holy days of the year. Palm Sunday is the commemoration of the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem, following the raising of Lazarus from the dead. Having heard of the miracle, the people went out to meet him, welcoming him carrying palms.
All around the world, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May; however, here in the UK it comes a little earlier…
Playing with Greek Gods at the British Museum
Last week, we were very happy to be collaborating with the Athens-based educational team My Roots in an exciting new workshop. Our little participants had the opportunity to work in a special room at the British Museum, opened especially for us, giving us access to numerous ceramics. Inspired by those, the children created their own pieces of art experimenting with the red and black figure technique, learnt about mythology and shared their views on creativity and why knowing about our past is so important.
We can’t wait to do it again and share more details with you all soon.
Have you ever wondered why we fly kites on Clean Monday?
Clean Monday (Kathara Deftera in Greek) is one of the most important and eagerly anticipated Greek celebrations. It marks the end of the playful Carnival season and the commencing of the Great Lent, the 50day fasting period which ends on Orthodox Easter Sunday. Kathara Deftera, a public holiday both in Greece and Cyprus, is celebrated through various local customs and traditions, including the consumption of shellfish and other culinary fasting delights as well as a number of outdoor activities (Koulouma), the most popular of which is making and flying kites.