By Ada Leivada
Christmas is the biggest celebration around the world; a joyous affair for families and communities where its members get together to create traditions and celebrate.
Greek Lessons OnLine takes pride in having created a close-knit online community that not only keeps all these school traditions but also transcends time zones and distance to gather and celebrate together. And since children are always ready to celebrate and most excited about the holidays, Christmas parties have become one of the most important traditions for Greek Lessons OnLine.
I know you might be sad you couldn’t be there. But, sit back and relax because we are about to walk you through it. Welcome to the Greek LOL Christmas Party.
OnLine Christmas Party like no other
Who said you need to be in the same place to enjoy a Christmas party? Greek LOL certainly doesn’t let little details like this stop teachers, students and parents from having fun together. All our students and their families needed was a computer, an Internet connection and maybe something festive to wear including Ruddolf’s antlers, glowing noses Christmas sweaters and of course your ever-present Greek flags in the background. After all, the Greek LOL students are known for their imagination when it comes to their school’s projects. Used to the ways their online school works, most of them helped their parents connect on our celebration and were ready to enjoy themselves. Parents and students from various corners and time zones of the world connected to celebrate Christmas with their Greek School. And just like this is their Greek School, the online Christmas celebration was their party.
Greek Christmas traditions
Our students, just like the little stars they are, took over this party like true protagonists. The celebration included projects where children talked about Christmas customs of Greece and more specifically about customs coming from our students’ own place of origin in Greece. In this way, we got the chance to hear about traditions from various regions of Greece that most of us did not know about! Like the custom of Poupouris from Didimoteixo, where men used to dress with heavy furs, loud bells and masks to scare the goblins away and keep the village safe from them. Who knows, maybe next year our students will dress like this for the online Christmas party. What’s certain is that if they did we wouldn’t be surprised.
However, it is not a party until we have played some games. In Greek Lessons OnLine we love playing, so our students teamed up to find hidden Greek words and they took part in our Christmas knowledge game. That was so much fun! They all loved it!
The Greek LOL International Online Orchestra
Of course the students of Greek LOL are not only talented in Greek. They could also form an international orchestra if they wanted to. Would that be the first online orchestra? Who knows? Several students performed Christmas songs, playing the violin or piano, playing the flute or keyboard creating such a warm and special Christmas atmosphere!
Greek Christmas Carols from all the corners of the world
And while the Christmas Celebration closed with students and teachers wishing one another a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, the Christmas projects did not conclude for Greek LOL with the party. To share the energy and the will of the students, as well as their dedication to their Greek School and trust to their teachers, Greek LOL started a carols video project.
Caroling in Greece
Caroling is one of the greatest Christmas traditions in Greece. Children in groups of 3-4 or more, gather together on Christmas Eve and go carol singing from door to door, while neighbors are expected to welcome them in their home, give them Christmas sweets or pocket money. People in Greece truly consider this good luck for the New Year and are extremely happy to see and hear these sweet voices filling their house with Christmas singing and well wishes.
A great challenge
“Why shouldn’t we keep this tradition alive and try to spread it everywhere,” the teachers and students of Greek LOL thought. Being part of a school that works through modern technology has never stopped them from respecting and keeping school traditions. Quite the contrary, actually. So, students were sent a verse from the traditional Christmas Carols in Greek to sing in their own corner of the world. This specific song is hard and long. There are 16 verses to be exact. That’s why, this felt like an ambitious project. However, the Greek LOL students never disappoint. Not only did they participate with vigor and enthusiasm in this project, but they also did an amazing job with both the song and the videos they sent us. From the Philippines to St Albans in the UK, from Zambia to Patras, from Melbourne to Kalamata, from Poland to Tennessee, from New York to France, from Toronto to Thessaloniki, from Boston to California and Washinghton, from London to Pennsylvania our students embraced this project and made it truly special ….
Greek LOL received amazing videos with students singing the traditional Greek carols confidently and proudly. Watch our young Greeks singing and sending thoughts of good luck and well wishes for the holidays and see for yourselves how truly amazing they are.
A message of unity!
Apart from keeping the Greek tradition of carol singing alive, the aim of this project for Greek LOL was to bring a message of unity between Greeks everywhere in the world. And of course to show that Greek people everywhere are organic parts of what makes Greece what it is. There are no words to explain how proud these students make their teachers, not only through their participation in the online celebration and video project, but also by simply connecting to their classes and learning a new word in Greek every time.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone!