The Kinnie Club

Xronia polla agapi mou

Our family is a patchwork of lots of different cultures. There is a little bit of Greek, a little bit of Hungarian, a little bit of Maltese and a whole lot of Australian. Our multicultural mix not only makes our family interesting, it also makes our celebrations interesting. Now while it is almost impossible to uphold the traditions and celebrations of each of these cultures, we do our best to try and embrace as many as we can.

Xronia polla agapi mou

One of the traditions celebrated in many Greek households is a person’s name day. It is not something my hubby has ever celebrated for himself and while we never actively discouraged our boys from celebrating their name day, we didn’t actively encourage them either. Earlier this year  on our way home from one of his little friend’s name day parties AJ turns to us and states, not asks, that he wants to celebrate his name day this year.

More than anything, hubby and I were shocked, then surprised and then really chuffed that AJ instigated this all on his own. Maybe that was always how it was meant to be. So without the fanfare of our birthday party bashes, and with lots of good friends, family, too much food and wine we celebrated AJ’s name day a few weekends ago.

Xronia polla agapi mou

Xronia polla agapi mou

Celebrating a name day is a strong Greek tradition dating back to antiquity. According to the Greek Orthodox Church, every day of the year is dedicated to the memory of at least one saint or martyr. If someone is named after a saint, then there is a big celebration on the corresponding name day. For example, St. Mary’s name day is August 15, so all those who are named Mary or a derivative of Mary (like Maria) celebrate their name day on August 15.

Now while our birthday celebrations tend to take months of planning and weeks to recover from, I wanted something a little simpler for AJ’s name day. So we opted for our closest family and friends, a Sunday lunch and cake. While cakes are not traditionally part of a name day celebration, I just couldn’t have such a special occasion without cake. Besides, any reason is a good reason to have cake, right?

While hubby took care of the BBQ of steaks: cevapi: garlic and white wine prawns. I took care of the salads of lima beans: mustard coleslaw: pear, walnut and parmesan salad: my take on a Greek salad: garlic, thyme and rosemary smashed potatoes: garlic bread: my mother in laws Greek pita. Dessert was a fruit platter served with some super yummy individual Baci ice creams. The champagne we drank at the start of the lunch became the scotch we drank with our coffee and of course the super delicious chocolate and vanilla layered cake. There was no need for dinner that day.

Xronia polla agapi mou

Xronia polla agapi mou

Xronia polla agapi mou

Xronia polla agapi mou

Xronia polla agapi mou

Xronia polla agapi mou

It was one of the best Sunday’s we have had in a long time. Somehow it felt like something shifted that day. The uncertainty and doubt of the past few weeks, that had been weighing us down and dragging at our ability to move forward, had eased. Maybe I was just feeling warm and fuzzy from all the food and champagne. Maybe it was more than that.

I was so proud of AJ. He said his own little speech and cut his cake thanking everyone for coming and for loving him so much. Gosh sometimes I wonder how we can get so caught up and lost in the balance and juggle of life. When in moments like these it is astoundingly clear what is most important.

 Xronia polla agapi mou

A thousand thank you’s to my amazing and dear friend Belinda,
from Baked by Belinda, for AJ’s amazing cake and beautiful cookies xx

Conversations over Coffee is due to happen on Thursday June 26 –
however, this month has been postponed.
Conversations with Strangers will happen on Thursday July 31 ~ all welcome xx

  • LydiaCLee

    I might need to post mine anyway as it’s World Cup themed…of course!

  • The Plumbette

    It’s breakfast time and all those pictures of food have made me hungry. What a beautiful celebration. I love reading about your parties Josefa and the cake looks amazing. Love it all. So glad to hear that it was a beautiful celebration for your family, especially for AJ. x

  • bodyandfeetretreat

    What a beautiful cake for a wonderful celebration !
    Have the best day !
    Me xox

  • It’s great to see the effort in passing on the traditions to our kids. It’s definitely something I want to try to do! But, where is the Lamb?? Haha. Kali Orexi 🙂

    • No lamb – haven’t mastered the spit yet 😉 Give us time, we’ll get there xx

  • Denise Mooney

    I am now starving, thanks Josefa 🙂 What a beautiful celebration. Good on AJ!

  • What a cool idea. And so wonderful he decided he’d like to do it for himself.

  • Wow, if that’s your idea of a low key party, I’d love to be at your birthday parties! It all looked amazing, especially the cake. I’m glad you all had a great day.

  • That looks like an amazing day. I wish sometimes we did special things like this with our extended families.

  • What a lovely day Josefa! So nice that he chose to celebrate it himself, instead of him feeling he had to do it.
    Love that cake. Though I did spend a good few minutes wondering how she got the sprinkles just so perfect!!

    • I suspect the sprinkles were everywhere in her house for some time – they certianly were everywhere in this house for a long time!

  • You really know how to celebrate Josefa! All your parties look spectacular! What a great reason to party! (and have cake!) Hope AJ had a great time too. What a gorgeous grown up boy to give a speech!! Your heart must have swelled! xo aroha (for #teamIBOT 😉 )

  • What a beautiful celebration, Josefa!! The cake is amazing!

  • Good food, good company and a ripper cake. What more could you want really. Looked like a lovely day.

  • Renee at Mummy, Wife, Me

    Oh my gosh! That cake!!! Baked by Belinda is amazing. It is a work of art and I love the cookies also. Thanks for the history on name days. I’d never heard of it before. As a Catholic we choose a saint’s name, but we don’t have any celebrations for it – as far as I know. It must be lovely to have AJ take such an interest in his name day and family traditions. PS. You hair looks great and I love AJ’s too. What a cute little man. PPS. Lovely to see you so happy. Hugs x

    • that is the fun that is this family – a blend of Catholic and Orthodox – certainly makes for some fun celebrations xx

  • What an ahhhh-mazing cake!! Bravo!
    I love that this celebration was instigated by your boy. A day to treasure, no doubt x

  • Bakedbybelinda

    What a beautiful piece written about a special boy for his special day. I love being a part of your celebrations, it was a pleasure making your cake. You love celebrations as much as I do….. Even when they are ment to be simple they are special and you really show this in this piece.

    • Your cakes are always at the heart of these celebrations Bel and we are so grateful that they are xx

  • Leanne Shea Langdown

    Man you through great parties!
    And your cakes
    I get serious cake envy when I read these posts. So clever!
    When’s your cakey cook book coming out?
    Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit

    • Leanne Shea Langdown

      Sorry – jet lag

    • I think maybe Baked by Belinda needs to get a cake book out 😉

  • What a lovely tradition. Thank you for sharing 🙂 xx

  • Those salads look devine! I love big family feasts – and a name days seems like a great excuse to have one xx

  • That food wowsers that food looks good. What a beautiful tradition xx

  • Happy Blog anniversary. Mystery Case turned two last month and I’ve just gone and killed her by merging with Agent Mystery Case. I’m in mourning for the blog comments I’ve lost and the possible google rankings and blog traffic (250k per month) but half contemplating trying to find flights to join you for coffee.

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