I was invited to visit a friend of mine and his family to Thessaloniki few years back, and while there his wife's relative got their child christened.
Where I come from, from Finland, christening happens in few months, if not weeks after the birth, because we don't give names to the babies in the hospital, and it's a kind of well kept secret too. So, in order to name them we need to christen babies or register in case of atheism, pretty soon.
But in Greece children can get christened at any age. In this particular case the child was 1 year old. In most of the countries new borns get some name parents need to register to the town hall, and the christening in the church then follows. If follows.
I was surprised of the quantity of the family members and friends they had invited to the church, since in Finland most people do the christening sort of privately at home with just close family and few friends. Also in Italy the christening is something among close family.
I remember that I found it all extremely hilarious there in Greece, because the whole procedure took huge amount of time; like 2h and every one in the church did what ever they pleased; mostly talked. I played games. LOL
The priest had to ask these people get quiete several times, and I couldn't stop mentioning that comparing to them Italians are pretty disciplined.
And this ain't all: that baby actually had a "full bath" in a bowl. With the help of both parents and the priest the child got undressed and then put in the bowl followed with all religious liturgy. It seemed to last for ages.
In some cases the kids walk to have a "bath" on their own, but that was not the case of the relative of my friend's family.
After the long ceremony, perhaps due to my new shoes I bought as a souvenir, the family in question shared something they also do in Italy: sugar covered amandels packed in a gift box or similar.
|photo by author|
We were then invited for greek meze that stands for appetiser. For me it was a completely fullfilling meal. It lasted nearly 3 hours and we also got to celebrate the babies' 1st birthday.
It was one of the nicest thing my friend's family could have done to me, by inviting me there.