Greek students at AHEPA brought a little bit of the Greek apokries (carnival) spirit to Australia.
Students and teachers arrived to lessons dressed up in colourful costumes, masks, hats and a spirit of tomfoolery.
They revived traditions and sang “Welcome Crazy Carnavali”, and other songs traditionally performed during Greek carnival time.
The atmosphere was full of movement, laughter and joy, with streamers and confetti creating a party atmosphere. Children enjoyed games, listened and sang along to carnival songs and enjoyed traditional delicacies.
Apart from learning about the carnival, children also learnt about Kathari Deftera and enjoyed koulouma dishes traditionally eaten during Greek Orthodox Lent.
The aim of the festivities was to immerse children in Greek customs and traditions, and to enjoy what it means to be Greek. Judging by the gusto of the students and teachers, the customs that have survived thousands of years are safe here in Australia.
In the classroom, students were taught the meaning and the spirit of Carnavali and Kathari Deftera and the importance of these events for our cultural identity.
They also learnt about the different ways in which the festive days are celebrated at different towns and villages.
Furthermore, they learnt about the roots of the festivities, associated with Ancient Greek God Dionysus, that have survived through the centuries and have been adapted to our Christian traditions.
“We believe that Carnavali celebration is a great opportunity for our children to meet each other and spend a pleasant time together, learning the tradition in a joyful atmosphere,” said Stella Lambrou, principal of AHEPA Greek School.