What its like to be Greek in a Catholic world

Greek is not the first thing that comes to mind when people look at me and try to guess my heritage.  Most people guess Italian, which they aren’t wrong, but it’s only 1/4 of my ethnicity.  Basically I am 1/2 Greek, 1/4 Italian, and 1/4 Polish.  The only true Polish thing about me is my last name to be honest, and that actually sounds more German then anything.  By my grandfather swears we are Polish and I refuse to let him roll over in his grave for not saying it.  He was the best, but that’s for another day.

Now, I may be 1/2 Greek, but since my Italian grandma lives closer then my Greek one, I learned more about my Italian roots then I did my Greek ones.  I was technically baptized Greek Orthodox and I wouldn’t change it at all, but I also don’t fully practice it.  With being Greek Orthodox there was always one major difference in my life when it came to holidays then Catholic and that had to do with Easter!  Growing up I always had mixed emotions about it.  I loved being able to tell all my friends that I got 2 Easters while everyone else only had 1; I still do that to this day honestly!  The downfall though was when Greek Easter fell on a Sunday way after Catholic Easter.  I’d show up to school the following Monday and all my friends would be showing off all their cool Easter  bunny gifts while I only had candy from my Dad’s parents.  Once my Easter came around none of my friends cared because it was a “your too late its not cool anymore” type of situation.  Was totally annoying honestly.

When I tried to explain to my friends why my Easter was different it was actually hard since I knew it had something to do with passover.  Ok lets be real, I just didn’t pay attention in Sunday School since I really didn’t like the fact of going to School 6 days a week.  Basically Greek Easter is determined by the day Jesus Christ came again on earth.  Most times it falls a week after Catholic Easter, but every now and then it can be a month or even the same exact day.  Apparently there is also a 40 day fast of not eating animal product, but I don’t think any of my family follows that.  I was always told no meat on Wednesday or Fridays during lent, which I’ve totally broken over the years.  One tradition I do always is not eating meat on Good Friday, it’s something super easy to do for one day and I do respect my religion in that aspect (even if something I cannot stand, aka always dressing up to go to church.  Totally sucked as a kid, but I understand why it’s done).

Over the years my family, as a whole, has transitioned to really only celebrating Greek Easter.  I’m not too bothered by it honestly, but I actually like celebrating both.  It makes me who I am and I plan to carry that with me into my own family.

As is Greeks say Christos Anesti everyone!


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