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Folding Palm Crosses

 

 

It is a GFS tradition to make palm crosses for the church for use on Palm Sunday. Gather your girls for a meeting the day before Palm Sunday and learn this fun craft. There are many how to videos and instructions online.

Below are two versions of the cross to try. Each requires patience and precision. Don’t be surprised that there will be a lot of frustration at first. However, once the girls learn the trick of folding a palm cross, you won’t be able to stop them. I call the ability to fold a palm cross the secret handshake of GFS.

 

Finish up your Saturday afternoon meeting with an additional craft or a game.

 

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Khristós Anésti!

Red eggs are traditional in any Greek Easter celebration. The deep red represents the blood of Christ and rebirth.

Make the dye with the onion skins: In a stainless saucepan, place skins of 15 yellow onions and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar in 4½ cups of water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Strain dye into a glass bowl, and let cool to room temperature. although the color of the dye is not red, the final product will be.

Rinse 12 eggs to remove anything that might be clinging to the eggs.

In a stainless saucepan, add the cooled strained dye and eggs at room temperature. The eggs should be in one layer and covered by the dye.

Bring to a boil over medium heat. When boiling, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer.

Dyeing time will be affected by the color of the eggs. Start checking for color at 12-15 minutes. Do not simmer longer than 20 minutes. If eggs are not a red enough color after 20 minutes, leave in the pot and remove from heat. When the pot as cooled enough, place in refrigerator and let sit until desired color is reached.

When eggs are the right color, remove eggs with a slotted spoon and cool on racks.

When they can be handled, coat lightly with olive (or other edible) oil and polish with paper toweling.

Refrigerate until time to use.

When your eggs are cooled, you may choose to celebrate with a traditional Greek Easter game called tsougrisma. The word tsougrisma means “clinking together” or “clashing.” It is pronounced TSOO-grees-mah.

Each player holds a red egg, and one taps the end of her/his egg lightly against the end of the other player’s egg while saying  Khristós Anésti! (Christ is Risen) while the other responds Alithós Anésti! (He is Risen Indeed!) The goal is to crack the opponent’s egg. When one end is cracked, the winner uses the same end of her/his egg to try to crack the other end of the next opponent’s egg. The player who successfully cracks the eggs of the other players is declared the winner and, it is said, will have good luck during the year.