Even the chilly winds whistling around us and shaking everything up did not affect the excitement of the children of St George’s Cathedral Parish youth in Cape Town, who once again revived the truly meaningful and cultural Orthodox Christmas tradition of the Karavaki held at the Archbishopric in Rondebosch on Saturday 9th December.
MC Pepe Sofianos reminded us that peace is the best gift of all and that this was the eighth annual celebration of the Karavaki which has now become a firm favourite in our activities calendar.
His Eminence Archbishop Sergios, Metropolitan Bishop Cape Town gave his opening address, praising our children, parents and teachers for keeping these important core values and traditions of our Orthodox faith alive and well, especially in this time of uncertainty that has gripped the world.
As the twilight dimmed into darkness the age-old story of the birth of Christ unfolded for us in the most unusual way. The highlight of the evening was a delightfully artistic rendition of the Nativity play in the form of a shadow puppet presentation devised and put together by Deacon Father Nicholas Esterhuizen. The shadow puppets enacted the events that led up to the birth of Christ while the story was told by the children reading from the Gospel of Saint Luke.
Everyone was enchanted by the children’s singing of good old fashioned Christmas carols and traditional Kalanda. The children were accompanied by their own little string quartet and the audience was encouraged to join in including our special guests Pater Nikolaos and Presbytera Maria, the Greek Consul Mr Thomas Matsoukas and President of the Hellenic Community Mr Fotis Sousalis.
Then it was time for the countdown to switching on the lights of the Karavaki and everyone oohed and aahd as the boat burst into phosphorescent shimmering light.
The mouth-watering aroma of the delicious kalamari stew prepared by Eftugia Spiratos tempted everyone to have seconds. The excellent meal was followed by very moreish nistisimo confectionery provided by Eftugia and Dora Wild and there was a lot of laughter, munching and chatting well into the night.Despite the high-force winds, everybody who attended was thoroughly satisfied and delighted with this memorable evening which felt like a happy relaxed family gathering and it certainly ushered in the Christmas season with a lot of goodwill.
We wish you all Kala Xristougena.
By Pepe Sofianos.