Tuesday, February 23, 2010

25η Μαρτίου - Greek Independence Day

From Grafoulis, songs and other various items related to Greek Independence Day.

From mathima.gr various resources of poems, songs and skits.

From Prasini Priza, some more
activities, including coloring pages and more.

From Crayola, coloring page of a
flag of Greece along with a map in English.

Portraits of
heroes, paintings and images from mathima.gr.

Projects from matia.gr.

From Proodosperida, Worksheets (scroll to the last few pages for some cute projects) and more

Some bulletin board ideas

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Swallows are coming - Τα Χελιδονίσματα

The 1st of March is traditionally recognized as the beginning of spring and the return of the swallows, τα χελιδόνια, in Greece. To celebrate their return, children sing the "χελιδονίσματα", or the "swallow's carols". These carols are similar to traditional carols but rather than expressing the anticipation of Christmas, they tell us of the joys of spring. This is a very old tradition dating back to ancient Greece, and the carols themselves differ from region to region. Children create a swallow and mount it on a stick with a bell around it's neck. Some examples can be found in the following video of the students of the School of Music in Komotini, Greece.

Coloring page of a χελιδόνι

Spring carols from various parts of Greece and background information on March 1st from Matia
From Prasini Priza... connect the dots and make a χελιδόνι

From Paidika, make a
χελιδόνι mask

From the Τετράδιο Εργασίων Μελέτη Περιβάλλοντος Α' Δημοτικου print out
page 41 for a handout and craft idea for celebrating Τα Χελιδονίσματα

From the Ανθολόγιο Λογοτεχνικών Κείμενων Α' & Β' Δημοτικού,
pages 141-142 for a cute handout.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Clean Monday- Lady Lent

The first Monday of Lent is called Clean Monday or Καθαρά Δευτέρα. Schools and many offices are closed in Greece this day and people leave the cities to have picnics and fly kites. The sky fills with colorful kites as people participate in this lovely tradition. That day, people eat fasting food consisting of tarama (fish roe spread), calamaria, beans, salads, olives and any other food that does not include milk, cheese, fish, meat and eggs. Many people keep this fast throughout the whole lenten period, from Clean Monday until Pascha (Easter) Sunday (as is tradition in the Orthodox Church).

Another tradition related to "Clean" Monday is lady Lent (Κυρά Σαρακοστή). The lady of the house, would (and in many cases still does) bake a bread in the shape of a lady who has seven legs (as many weeks as there are in Lent). On her forehead would be a cross, the symbol of Christianity, her hands would be folded over in prayer, and she would not have a mouth because she fasts, just like Christ did . This strange little bread was called lady Lent, or Κυρά Σαρακοστή. Once it had been baked, it would be put near the icon center in the home and every Sunday that passed during lent, a leg would be removed. This was used as a calendar to count down to Pascha. The last leg would be removed on Holy Saturday.

Every year my Greek school class constructs a Κυρά Σαρακοστή out of poster board and the children all participate in decorating her. The children also construct their own Κυρά Σαρακοστή to take home and put by their icons. This is such a charming tradition that shows us the resourcefulness of those who came before us.

We also try to get outside to fly kites on "Clean" Monday during class, but with lent being so early this year, and the weather in Chicago not cooperating, we will be making kites in class on Monday.

Καλή Σαρακοστή!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Καθαρά Δευτέρα-Κυρά Σαρακοστή

From Crayola Greek Lenten Calendar- Κυρά Σαρακοστή (in English)

From Potamitis Publishing a couple of versions of Κυρά Σαρακοστή as a lady and as a nun.

From Paidika, background information on Κυρά Σαρακοστή and Καθαρά Δευτέρα

From Χριστιανική γωνιά, make a Κυρά Σαρακοστή our of dough here.

From Matia, some more background information on Καθαρά Δευτέρα

From Matia, some background on the tradition of kite flying on Clean Monday (χαρταετός)

From Astropeleki, images of children flying kites and classroom display of Κυρά Σαρακοστή

Color a kite for Καθαρά Δευτέρα:

From the Διαβάζω και γράφω series, a handout (page 51)