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Posted By: Mrs. H. Pre-lent Festivities - 01/02/05 04:41 AM
Happy New Year! Was just curious what other churches do (if anything) in the way of a "last fling" before Lent starts (Feb. 7). I've heard some churches do a Fasengi (Hungarian pronounced "fa-shang-ee") after Sunday liturgy with a potluck luncheon and a DJ. Then everyone goes back into church for a Lenten Service. Does anyone do anything and, if so, what?
Posted By: Pani Rose Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 01/02/05 05:26 AM
The youth group prepares and serves dinner on Meat Fare Sunday. It works good for the parrish and the youth group, since it is a fund raiser for their convention trip. Everyone enjoys Kibbee or Greek Chicken, the last to see the meat for lent.

Then the true celebration begins with Forgiveness Vespers. I can't think of any greater way to begin the glorious Lent of the Church.

Pani Rose
Posted By: theophan Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 01/02/05 01:29 PM
If the Byzantine Catholic Churches are moving to the Julian calendar, it'll be a few more weeks beyond February 7th before you have any pre-Lenten festivities.

BOB
Posted By: Alice Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 01/02/05 08:26 PM
In Greek Orthodox churches in the U.S., a 'carnivale' or 'apokreatiko' party is usually held for all the families of the church the weekend right before the onset of Lent. There is usually lots of food, music and dancing.

In Greece, this is the time for dressing in costume for adults and children alike, and for parades and wholesome partying..(UNLIKE the parades of 'Mardi Gras' in New Orleans mad )

Alice
Posted By: Alice Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 01/02/05 10:16 PM
OOPS...I don't know if it was clear, but--the 'angry' emoticon was aimed at the decadent partying of New Orleans and NOT the wholesome pre Lenten partying in Greece.
Posted By: incognitus Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 01/02/05 10:39 PM
Alice writes of the wholesome pre-Lenten parties in Greece. I wonder when Alice last spent Clean Monday in Athens. It has become - incredibly but truly - the quasi-official day for the first barbecue of the season. I won't even report the number of parties I was invited to during the first few days of that week when I was last in Athens for it not many years ago.
Also of interest along the same line - on Clean Monday I was invited to lunch at one of the hotels by a friend in the church-goods business. I tried to beg off by pointing out that on that day one really should fast strictly. My friend assured me that the the hotel kitchen was well aware of this and I need not worry. He was right; the hotel had two buffets in the same restaurant - one the regular buffet and the other the, ah, "xerophagy" buffet which, I can (to my shame) assure you was irresistibly delicious but had no relationship to abstinence. It was all kosher food, so to speak - but a diet of the most luxurious shellfish is not fasting as ordinary people understand the term. [Again, I am ashamed to admit that I partook fully of this feast, and I shall not bother to list all the usual excuses I might offer.]
Wishing everyone a good Clean Monday, albeit a couple of months early,

Incognitus
Posted By: Danj Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 01/03/05 12:11 AM
Isn't Kibbee raw ground lamb with olive oil poured over it? I remember some Lebanese ladies in my hometown who made this. Although nothing is quite so delicious as the stuffed grapeleaves with ground lamb. My mom makes them every summer and they are quite a treat!

Dan
Posted By: Irish Melkite Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 01/03/05 12:39 AM
Quote
Originally posted by Danj:
Isn't Kibbee raw ground lamb with olive oil poured over it? I remember some Lebanese ladies in my hometown who made this. Although nothing is quite so delicious as the stuffed grapeleaves with ground lamb. My mom makes them every summer and they are quite a treat!
Danj,

Yes, although when it is being served raw, it's usually referred to as kibbee nayyeh or nayee or nayeh (all versions pronounced ni-yeh - with a long i sound). It can be hard to get these days, except homemade or in very traditional Middle East restaurants, as a lot of folks are leery about consuming uncooked meats.

When folks say "kibbee" alone, they are generally speaking of baked kibbee (kibbee sineyee), which is usually cooked in the shape of small sort of elliptically-shaped balls, a bit pointy at the ends, although it can be baked in sheets as well.

Stuffed grapeleaves are great biggrin , whether made with lamb or vegetarian-style.

Many years,

Neil, hungry now biggrin
Posted By: Alice Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 01/03/05 01:52 AM
Quote
Alice writes of the wholesome pre-Lenten parties in Greece. I wonder when Alice last spent Clean Monday in Athens.
Dear Incognitus,

No need to be so cynical! frown

I thought we were friends. wink

I was last in Athens on Clean Monday when I lived there twenty-three years ago...a long time ago, I admit.

At that time, the pass time was for families to go out and fly kites and to buy 'lagana' a special lenten bread, and eat lenten foods. Clean Monday was a day off. This was also the same experience my husband had there ten years ago.

I will, however, take your word for it that things have changed.

In the city of Patras, the costumed parades for 'apokries' (carnivale) are infact still quite wholesome in comparison to New Orleans.

Recently, I have noticed that some affluent and cosmopolitan Athenians, especially in the younger to middle aged age group, think that fasting for Lent is a 'quaint' custom, and they have admitted that American Orthodox of Greek background in the U.S. in the same age groups are much more religious and observant.

Alice
Posted By: Mrs. H. Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 01/03/05 04:12 PM
Dear Theophan, is the Byzantine Catholic Church moving to the Julian calendar? I haven't heard a word about it. Just checked our church calendar and the calendar from the link on this site's home page and our lent begins Feb. 7. Do you know something we don't? <smile>
Posted By: Michael B Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 01/04/05 12:17 AM
Happy New Year to all.
Christ is Born!
Glorify Him!

Our parish typically holds a Brunch on Cheesefare Sunday, with fresh homemade (by the parish) kielbasa, eggs, potatoes o'brien, kolachie, etc., and a very large platter of cheese, to provide a "send off" before we start the great fast the following Monday. It is a very popular and successful parish event for everyone. The giftshop overflows with chotkis, and many copies of a book to help with meditation and prayers for Lent.

The brunch really brings a fellowship of love and support to all the members of our Church.

Michael (a sinner)
Posted By: byzanTN Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 01/04/05 12:28 AM
I don't even want to think about Lent, or fasting, or anything related for a couple of months. I had enough of all that before Christmas. It's party time biggrin
Posted By: Alice Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 01/04/05 12:39 AM
Quote
I don't even want to think about Lent, or fasting, or anything related for a couple of months. I had enough of all that before Christmas. It's party time biggrin
HEHEHE! cool
Posted By: Danj Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 01/04/05 01:18 AM
Neil,
Thanks for the clarification. This year with all the rain here in PA, the grapeleaves were "sparse" many were marked with black from all the rain, but we had a small batch to make. The ground lamb is tough to get also, had to put in a special order at Wegman's 3 weeks before my mom planned on making them. But, oh yes, the end result is great. I've never had the meatless version, except at a greek wedding in 1996 in Cleveland OH, they had the grapeleaves filled with rice and dill only, is this the same as you are referring to?

Dan (who has visions of grapeleaves dancing in my head)
Posted By: incognitus Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 01/04/05 07:52 AM
Dear Alice,
I certainly wasn't trying to insult you - I was merely stunned by the contrast between your report and what I've experienced in Athens. I hasten to add that (unlike many tourists) I enjoy Athens immensely, so much so that I seldom go anywhere else in Greece. I'm not surprised to learn that in other parts of the country, fasting still goes on.
As in so many places, it's often a matter of finding what one wants and enjoying it. It is certainly possible to find traditional Greek piety in Athens. But it does seem to have been losing ground for the past couple of decades (I can remember the days when beggars in the street would chant hymns while requesting alms - they are now more likely to play noisy tapes of rock music).
One year a friend and I were visiting, and an Athenian friend took us to dinner on Meat-Fare Sunday. We went slightly north of the city, to a simple and very pleasant restaurant which specializes in roast lamb. Utterly delicious - there was an entire lamb for the 3 of us, and we were about ready to bleat by the end of the meal, but I would gladly rush to Athens for another round!
Then of course there is Greek pastry, concerning which I could write a book. It's not so easily found in these northern climes.
Note for Slavs and Slavophiles spending Holy Week in Athens: if you are young and muscular, go to the market just below Omonia and fight your way through the huge crowds to find the good Polish butchers, whereupon you can buy some really excellent kolbassy, Polish ham, and whatever else strikes your fancy for the Paschal table. Then make sure you find a priest who is willing to bless the Paschal foods and knows how to do it (the prayers are in the Euchologion but fell out of use in Greece centuries ago). Nowadays there are good-sized Slav communities in Athens so there shouldn't be any difficulty; again it's only a question of looking in the right places.
But this is all making me hungry. Again, my apology to Alice; I really wasn't seeking to be offensive.
Incognitus
Posted By: Irish Melkite Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 01/04/05 09:10 AM
Quote
Originally posted by Danj:
I've never had the meatless version, except at a greek wedding in 1996 in Cleveland OH, they had the grapeleaves filled with rice and dill only, is this the same as you are referring to?
Danj,

The Greeks call them Dolmades (? right spelling, Alice confused ); the Arabs call them either Dolmathes (usually refers to the meat variety) or Warak Enab (most often used only for the meatless) - but the distinction in use is murky at best (says he whose Arabic is essentially useful at the food festival biggrin ).

In my experience, variations in ingredients are chiefly dependent on the maker's place of origin. (Interesting sidenote, as I think about it, I know a lot of men who make stuffed grape leaves; men who don't otherwise do any food prep - not sure why that is.) Basmati rice, dill, parsley, very finely chopped tomatoes, pine nuts, lemon juice, olive oil, and spices are probably the most common among our people. You'll occasionally find folks who add pimentos, onions, or fava beans/chickpeas.

Our stuffed cabbage leaves (Warak Malfouf) use the same ingredients.

Many years,

Neil
Posted By: Alice Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 01/04/05 01:25 PM
Dear Neil,

YUM! smile

Your spelling was impeccable! cool

But, I will make it easier...here in the melting pot of NYC and surrounds, my non-middle eastern/Greek background friends know them simply as 'stuffed grapeleaves'.... wink

Alice
Posted By: Alice Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 01/04/05 01:43 PM
Dear Incognitus,

Thank you for your post.

If you reread my original post:

Quote
In Greece, this is the time for dressing in costume for adults and children alike, and for parades and wholesome partying..(UNLIKE the parades of 'Mardi Gras' in New Orleans )
you will see that I mentioned nothing about Athenian piety, simply that the costumed parades in Greece--(I don't believe that Athens even has one..I was thinking of Patras actually) are 'wholesome' in contrast to the decadent parades of New Orleans.

I am aware that Athens does not uniformly hold piously to the traditions of Orthodoxy! Infact, most Athenians think it much more 'European' to NOT follow Orthodox tradition.

However, there is no place else in the world that you can eat out every single day for Lent and be able to stick to the strict fast as easily, nutritiously and deliciously, IF you are so inclined, as in Greece! LOL! wink

In Christ,
Alice
Posted By: incognitus Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 01/04/05 06:33 PM
Dear Alice - I've seen some carnival costumes in Athens that won't bear description! On the other hand, nobody was costumed as Incognitus, so perhaps I should protest.
The problem with eating (in or out) and maintaining the fast rules is that it can be blooming expensive to do so! One year on Clean Monday I had been pursuing some research in the British Museum most of the day, and left when the library closed. I ducked into a sandwich shop, and the only item I could find that was kosher was a shrimp-and-avocado sandwich (even then there's no guarantee what ingredients were used in making the bread). It was delicious, but I certainly couldn't afford it for a steady diet.
I've cooked some delicious fasting-type dinners at home for company. Not only are the ingredients expensive; the preparation time makes it almost impossible to do anything else that day.

Nag, nag, nag, that's me.

Incognitus
Posted By: Danj Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 01/05/05 11:32 PM
Thanks Neil for the info. I've never had the stuffed cabbage, but sounds good, plus with the cabbage one doesn't have to wait till summer to get the grapeleaves.

As for men cooking, yikes....the stove is a scary place for me to be. My expertise goes as far as box cakes and what can be made in the microwave. My mom once asked me to put the spaghetti in the boiling water as she was doing something else, imagine her surprise when she turned around and saw me approximately 2ft. from the stove trying to get the spaghetti in the boiling water. She asked what I was doing and I said I'm not getting burned by the steam and boiling water biggrin

Come to think of it, my grandpa never helped my grandma cook except to peel and slice the apples for her pies and he would help stuff the grapeleaves and the cabbage (pigs in a blanket).

Perhaps we could get the administrator to open a new thread where recipes can be posted and exchanged.

Dan---who wishes he was more nimble around the kitchen stove
Posted By: Administrator Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 01/06/05 03:18 AM
Quote
Danj wrote:
Perhaps we could get the administrator to open a new thread where recipes can be posted and exchanged.
Posting recipes is a very serious undertaking. I think I would have to have the poster send me the recipe along with a sizeable sample of the prepared food for testing purposes. And, of course, cold beer or a good Greek wine to wash the samples down with. biggrin

I’m not sure if there is enough interest in recipes to justify a separate forum. A good way to help determine this is to start a thread entitled “Recipes” in the Town Hall Forum. I’ll mark it as a “Feature Topic” so it will stay at the top of the thread. We can then see how popular it is over the coming months and use that information in determining a possible forum.
Posted By: Pani Rose Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 01/06/05 05:16 AM
If you plug in recipes to the search engine here, you will find some really good stuff!
So here goes....
http://www.byzcath.org/cgibin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=8;t=001175#000000
http://www.byzcath.org/cgibin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=8;t=000892#000000
http://www.byzcath.org/cgibin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=2;t=001918#000008
http://www.byzcath.org/cgibin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=8;t=000150#000000
and I know Niki's Baba lurks, I miss the postings...
http://www.byzcath.org/cgibin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=8;t=000135#000000
http://www.byzcath.org/cgibin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=3;t=000087#000001
http://www.byzcath.org/cgibin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=2;t=000557#000011

This is a good site for Pascha preparations from the Slavic standpoint...
http://www.iarelative.com/easter/index.html

Pani Rose
Posted By: Our Lady's slave Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 01/06/05 09:03 AM
True enough Pani Rose

Somehow at every Fasting season someone comes on and asks for ideas about meals - there ahve been some relly good recipes here in the past.

Maybe it's just me - I don't know - BUT I do know that I seem to get in a rut about cooking different things during the fast - I seem to rely on a few things that have worked . Still - when you are cooking 2 different menus [ only two of us in the house now ] it is a bit of a fiddle

Anhelyna
Posted By: Irish Melkite Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 01/06/05 10:28 AM
Quote
Originally posted by Irish Melkite:
(Interesting sidenote, as I think about it, I know a lot of men who make stuffed grape leaves; men who don't otherwise do any food prep - not sure why that is.)
Quote
Originally posted by Danj:
As for men cooking, yikes....

Come to think of it, my grandpa never helped my grandma cook except ... and he would help stuff the grapeleaves and the cabbage (pigs in a blanket).
Danj,

Ah ha, your grandpa makes my point.

I became curious enough to call a friend, an elderly Lebanese gentleman, who I know prepares the stuffed grape leaves in his home - altho I have never seen him do anything else in the realm of food prep.

He pointed out that grape leaves grown on an arbor in the backyard (which many of our people do) were inevitably the province of the man to care for, because of height differences. Thus, the natural conclusion, as he saw it, was that the man should carry through to completion of the tasks involved in preparing them for the plate. Sounds as good an explanation to me as any I could have concocted biggrin .

Many years,

Neil
Posted By: Danj Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 01/07/05 01:56 AM
Administrator,

We'll have to send you the finished product fed- ex overnight, which is expensive and alot of packing involved there biggrin

Seriously though, it's true that one can do an internet search and find recipe's for most anything, I just thought It would be nice to have a sort of on-line "cookbook" we could also include Prosphora/Qurban, altar bread and koliva (I have a recipe for it, but have been unsuccessful in finding "hulled" wheat in any grocery store, so the recipe sits in my file cabinet till I can get the wheat).

Who knows, seeing the recipe's may give me the impetus to try to resolve my fear of boiling pots phobia.

Yes, Neil, there are two grapevines in my grandpa's yard on a great trellis he himself built many years ago and we mostly use the vine for the leaves......we leave the grapes for the birds to consume.

BLessed old-calendar Nativity,
Dan
Posted By: incognitus Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 01/07/05 10:25 PM
Blessed Nativity of Christ to everyone!

There is a nice website about Prosphora, with lots of recipes (not all of which have to do with prosphora) and useful links to other food information. Unfortunately I don't remember the address, but one or another search engine should be able to locate it.

Incognitus
Posted By: Alice Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 01/08/05 02:52 AM
Quote
There is a nice website about Prosphora, with lots of recipes (not all of which have to do with prosphora) and useful links to other food information. Unfortunately I don't remember the address, but one or another search engine should be able to locate it.
Dear Incognitus,

The website has been created by an Antiochian Orthodox priest named Father George Acquaro...

It is:

www.prosphora.org

In Christ,
Alice
Posted By: Irish Melkite Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 01/08/05 06:48 AM
Alice,

Very interesting site. Father George makes some beautiful Prosphora stamps.

Many years,

Neil
Posted By: incognitus Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 01/09/05 08:12 AM
Dear Alice,
Kala Khristougenna! Thanks for refreshing my memory; that website truly is lovely, even though I'm no good at baking bread.
But that reminds me to go to the Italian food shop tomorrow and buy a panettone. Delicious! Especially with hard sauce.

Incognitus
Posted By: Mrs. H. Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 01/29/06 01:55 AM
OK, time to get this topic going again! lol St. Thomas the Apostle (Gilbert, AZ) is having a Sock Hop on Feb. 18 -- everybody join us, as that's the final party we'll have until St. Thomas Sunday, our feast day!
Posted By: Alice Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 02/20/06 11:59 PM
Do the Byzantine Catholic churches (in Europe and/or here) have a traditional ethnic 'carnivale' type of party, meal or feast before the great fast?

Alice
Posted By: Ung-Certez Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 02/21/06 12:15 AM
Yes. Among the Rusyns, Hungarians and Slovaks of the former Austro-Hungarian Kingdom, Carnival (the feasting time before Great Lent) is called Fashengy. It is the Hungarian word for the Germanic word "Fastnaght".

Vesely Fashengy!

Ungcsertezs
Posted By: Thepeug Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 03/02/06 02:08 PM
At my church, Carnival, Cheesefare Sunday, and Forgiveness Vespers all fall on the last Sunday before the beginning of the Great Fast. Carvnival was quite an experience, complete with Carribean-themed dance music, confetti, pinatas, copious amounts of food (meat-free, of course), and lots and lots of screaming, excited children. The priest really likes to party!
Posted By: Thepeug Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 03/02/06 07:30 PM
At my church, Carnival, Cheesefare Sunday, and Forgiveness Vespers all fall on the last Sunday before the beginning of the Great Fast. Carvnival was quite an experience, complete with Carribean-themed dance music, confetti, pinatas, copious amounts of food (meat-free, of course), and lots and lots of screaming, excited children. The priest really likes to party!

God bless,

Chris

Edit: Oops, sorry about the double post.
Posted By: Ladyhawke1017 Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 03/03/06 08:18 AM
Quote
Originally posted by Thepeug:
At my church, Carnival, Cheesefare Sunday, and Forgiveness Vespers all fall on the last Sunday before the beginning of the Great Fast. Carvnival was quite an experience, complete with Carribean-themed dance music, confetti, pinatas, copious amounts of food (meat-free, of course), and lots and lots of screaming, excited children. The priest really likes to party!

God bless,


Chris

Edit: Oops, sorry about the double post.
Hey Chris,
Wait until Pascha.. biggrin Talk about copious amounts of food...

Vie
Posted By: Thepeug Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 03/04/06 11:52 PM
Quote
Originally posted by Ladyhawke1017:

Hey Chris,
Wait until Pascha.. biggrin Talk about copious amounts of food...

Vie
So I hear.

Dreaming of sausage, eggs, and cheese,

Chris
Posted By: Pavel Ivanovich Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 03/05/06 04:08 AM
Dreaming out loud about food such as the above wonders is sinful in the Great Lent. As it does not start for another 11 hours and 54 minutes. I will make the most of it. I think there is 1/3 of a bar of chocolate on the side. If anyone asks who told you it was sinful it is OK ot quote me.

Paul the faster (and faster still cool )

ICXC
NIKA
Posted By: Thepeug Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 03/05/06 05:56 AM
In context, is it really sinful, though? I dream about "sausauge, eggs, and cheese" becuase I really like these foods, and yet I abstain from them because I desire more than anything to keep the fast in abstinence, fasting, prayer, and charitable works. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I feel that one's desire for these foods is natural, while the simultaneous desire to refrain from them can remind an individual of his Lenten mission to return to a state of simplicity and of the movement of the Holy Spirit during this glorious season of the Great Lent. At least, that's been my experience thus far.

God bless,

Chris
Posted By: Pavel Ivanovich Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 03/05/06 06:07 AM
Your dreaming for all and sundry to see and possibly hear is possibly going to cause my downfall. Can you live with that on your conscience? Now those foods are delicious. I dont need to be reminded of them. It will now be your fault if I weaken because you reminded me of these particular wonderful delectables. biggrin

cool
Posted By: Thepeug Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 03/05/06 06:16 AM
Forgive me, dear friend. There's nothing like my mom's sausage pie to remind me of the pleasures of a carnivorous diet. wink May the Lord sustain us both.

God bless,

Chris
Posted By: Pavel Ivanovich Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 03/05/06 06:18 AM
OK I will let you off this one time. Send the slice to my post office mail box 555....There is of course a slice on the way???? wink

cool
Posted By: Thepeug Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 03/06/06 02:37 AM
Packaged and postmarked. smile
Posted By: Pavel Ivanovich Re: Pre-lent Festivities - 03/06/06 02:52 AM
Thanks. If you need a reference to join the Byzantine Church I will of course solemnly swear on a stack of very well used Sydney telephone directories that I have known you since what ever it was you said to the bloke in charge. biggrin

Paul the faster (who is now thinking of lunch, might even sneek in morning tea)

ICXC
NIKA
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