Greeks Creating Gifts

How to Throw an Unforgettable Greek-Themed Party February 14, 2015 00:00

Whether in the field of architecture, sports, government, or philosophy, Ancient Greek civilization remains alive even in modern times. Aside from these sectors, many people continue to see and experience the contributions of the Greeks in the various areas of today's society and culture. This is probably why there are still a lot of people who like to come up with Greek-inspired restaurants, home décor, and celebrations.

How would you like to throw an unforgettable Greek-themed party? It will surely make an impact on your guests whether it's a class reunion, a birthday celebration, or a simple family get-together. In order to make this work, you should keep the following things in mind:

  • Invitations

    Based on your invitations, guests can ascertain the theme of your party, i.e., if it's going to be a small gathering or a big bash. Hence, you have to design them accordingly. They don't have to be expensive, as you can always use free templates online. If you know how to use Adobe Photoshop, then you can definitely just design and print out the invitations on your own with very minimal expenses.

  • Costumes

    You should ask guests to wear Greek costumes. They can come as Greek gods or goddesses, or perhaps wear something that would represent traditional Greek culture. Offer special prizes for the best costumes so as to encourage everyone to join in the fun.

    At the same time, you may want to prepare some props that could further accentuate their Greek outfits, such as garlands for the hair and maybe Greek-themed necklaces and earrings.

  • Décor

    Columns with intertwined vines are definitely reminiscent of Ancient Greece. However, if you can't rent out 3D ones, you can always just make use of 2D Styrofoam versions attached to the walls. Another option is to simply print out posters or tarpaulins you can hang around the place.

    Furthermore, if possible, you can prepare a few statues or bust sculptures that show off Greek art. It would be good as well to drape flimsy white fabric from the ceiling or use them as your curtains. Include gold trimmings plus Greek lettering and your décor is good to go!

    If you take a look at our store collection, you'll discover that we carry Greek signs for the home as well as Greek plaques that you can have customized for your party décor. Afterward, you can use them as permanent home décor or give them away as gifts.

  • Food

    Have you ever eaten in a Greek restaurant before? Yes, the Greeks have delicious food to boast about! And this is why you need to prepare the dishes well for your own party. To make the festivities even more memorable, it's essential to feed the guests with authentic Greek delicacies. You can either order them from a restaurant or cook them yourself.

    Some of the wonderful dishes you must include in your menu are the moussaka, feta and cheeses, baklava, and taramasalata. You can decorate the buffet table with Greek picture frames from our catalog when you serve these treats. It would be great to have the guests make use of our Greek-inspired mugs too, which they can bring home as souvenirs.

  • Games

    For the games, you may want to come up with your own mini Olympics or perhaps have an archery contest with the use of toy archery sets, of course. You can also hold a trivia contest or quiz bee on all things Greek.

    When you research on Ancient Greece, you'll surely be filled with other ideas for games and activities that guests can engage in at your party. Moreover, there are bound to be tons of ideas you can simply pick up from the Internet.

  • Giveaways

    It's always wonderful to have party guests bring home something to remind them of the event's memories and the good time they had. Hence, you should ponder on what kind of giveaways to provide. This will depend on the number of guests, the nature of the party, and your budget. But don't you worry! With our wide selection of Greek-inspired giveaway items, you'll surely find a couple that you and your guests would adore!

So what are you waiting for? Check out our coaster, keychains, buttons, magnets, medallions, and a lot more for the best Greek-themed party giveaways. Enjoy!


Important Holidays in Greece February 8, 2015 00:00

There are two things Greeks like to celebrate - religious holidays, and their independence. Greece is a predominantly Orthodox Christian country, so the religious holidays that are celebrated as public holidays are all Christian. And for independence, Greece has a long history of people wanting to conquer it, and the Greeks standing up for themselves and their country.

The year in Greece starts with the New Year’s Day, the first public holiday of the year. The next important holiday, the Epiphany, is only five days away, on the 6th. Epiphany is a Christian holiday, and it celebrates two important days in the life of Jesus - the day when the three wise men came to see him, and the day when he was baptized by John the Baptist.

Clean Monday, also called Ash Monday, is the beginning of the Great Lent, a 40-day long fast which starts seven weeks before Easter. March 25 is the day Greeks celebrate their independence from the Ottoman Empire. The holiday marks the date when Greece declared their independence and started the Greek War of Independence in 1821, but it’s also the date of an important Christian holiday - the Annunciation. Good Friday and Good Monday, the Friday before Easter and the Monday following it, are also national holidays with a floating date.

May 1st is Labor Day, and it’s celebrated publicly in Greece. Whit Sunday and Whit Monday, which are observed 49 and 50 days, respectively, after Easter, are next in the line of important holidays celebrated in Greece. Dormition of the Holy Virgin is the most important Christian holiday which celebrates Virgin Mary. It falls on the 15th of August. Ochi Day is the day when Greece said “no” to the Italian ultimatum of 1940, and is celebrated as another important day for the independence of Greece on October 28. After Ochi Day, Greeks celebrate Christmas on December 25, and the Synaxis of the Mother of God on the next day.


Now you know the important dates for Greeks and Greece. If you’re fond of Greek culture, or you have blood ties to Greece, you can celebrate these holidays on your own, with your family, or in one of the many Greek communities in the United States. You will need to learn what to do for each holiday though, but if you’re willing to partake in some communal celebration, you’re sure to catch up quick.


Enjoy a Cup of Greek Coffee January 7, 2015 00:00

If you are a coffee enthusiast and haven’t tried Greek coffee you are missing out. Unlike regular coffee, Greek coffee is boiled, not brewed. This method also creates foam which adds a rich, creaminess to the coffee.

Greek coffee is made by grinding freshly roasted coffee beans to a fine powder. Greek coffee beans can be found at ethnic markets or online. Fill a small cup or a demitasse cup with cold water and add to a briki, which is a small brass or copper pot with a long handle that is used to boil Greek coffee.

Add one teaspoon of the ground coffee beans into the briki. You can add more coffee for thicker foam but don’t overdo. Add sugar to taste and let the coffee sink to the bottom of the briki, dissolving the sugar into the water. Remove the teaspoon from the briki and heat on low until the water just starts to boil. An incomplete ring of foam should form on the coffee's surface. Remove the briki from the heat before the foam ring closes. Pour the coffee into its cup and serve with a sweet pastry.

To get the full flavor you should sip the coffee slowly with a glass of water. Once you start tasting the first grounds you are done; do not try to drink the coffee grounds at the bottom of the cup.


What to Expect at a Greek Wedding December 21, 2014 00:00

If you have never attended a Greek wedding, you may not know what to expect when you are invited to one. As in many cultures and religions, there are customs that carry on from generation to generation.

On the dance floor, you can expect the bride to lead a raucous dance known as the kalamatiano. The entire bridal party joins hands and skips in a circle. If you have been a guest at a Jewish wedding, this dance may be somewhat familiar to you, minus the chair. Other favored dances are the tsamiko, where skilled dancers leap into the air, and the rowdy zebekiko, where dancers sequentially take shots of ouzo off of the floor. The last dance of the night is shared by the bride and groom and guests pin money to their clothes. It is also customary for Greek men to cut their tie at the end of the reception and sell pieces to the wedding guests for cash.

Of course, expect food! Lots and lots of traditional Greek dishes are often prepared by family members. Koufetta is a key to any wedding celebration. The Timeless Mediterranean wedding favor is a bitter-sweet combination that symbolizes the hope that the difficult moments of the couple’s life will be balanced out with happiness, covered in sugar in hopes that couple has more good moments than bad. Guests are given odd numbers of these in bags - odd to show that they can't be divided up evenly, symbolizing that couple is indivisible.

When you are attending a Greek wedding, you want to give the couple a gift that reflects their culture and traditions. Kantyli.com has a fine assortment of Greek items that is befitting for any Greek couple. Commemorate the occasion with a gift that reflects the couple's love for each other and their love of their culture.


The Gift of Greece this Christmas December 8, 2014 00:00

'Tis the season to be giving gifts to good little boys and girls of all ages, even if their actual position on the Naughty-Nice scale is questionable. Some of the people you're shopping for may be of Greek heritage, and if so, they obviously deserve extra presents under the tree, but even for the non-Greeks on your list, giving Greek-themed gifts is always a great way to go!

Getting Personal
Personalized gifts are always a great way to convey to the gift recipient that you actually put a little thought into the gift, rather than just buying the same things that everyone else is buying this season. After all, personalized gifts have the person's name right on it, so you're guaranteed to be giving the most unique type of gift. A few distinctively Greek personalized gifts to consider would be a traditional Greek road sign, known as an ODOS sign. They look exactly like the street signs in Greece, complete with the Greek Letters ODOS (meaning: Street) at the top, plus the person's first or last name in both Greek and English. Kantyli has a wide range of handcrafted and laser engraved wooden signs that are personalized with names in Greek, as well as humorous signs and plaques, each one finished to artisan quality. For those Secret Santa gifts where you're forced to work with a minimal budget, there are personalized coffee mugs and gorgeous wooden picture frames, all emblazoned with their name in Greek letters.

Stuff Those Stockings!
For smaller gifts that fit into stockings, the ones hung by the chimney with care, you have to check out the personalized Greek keychains, especially the ones with the cool Greek flag on the reverse side. There are also colorful lapel pins and magnets with clever phrases in Greek that make excellent quirky conversation starters.

No matter which Greek gifts you choose, you celebrate one of the most influential cultures in mankind's history. Whether it is your heritage or just a well-deserved homage, a gift of Greece is always in excellent taste!

Kala Christougenna, Hronia Polla (Merry Christmas and Happy New Year) from all of us at Kantyli!


Greek Influence on the English Language November 23, 2014 00:00

"It's all Greek to me!"

This cliche is used throughout the English-speaking world to communicate that a person doesn't understand what was just said, which is just a bit ironic, as the English language owes its alphabet and much of its vocabulary roots to the ancient Greek language. When we say ancient, we aren't just paying lip service either. The recorded history of the Greek language stretches all the way back to 1200 BC, making Greek the oldest of all the European languages. Back in those times, Greek, like Latin in its time and English today, was considered to be almost an international language, due to the traveling of educated men and philosophers who spoke those languages

As Easy as A-B-C

Most European alphabets are derived in some manner from the archaic Greek alphabet. Technically, the Greeks took it from the ancient Phoenicians, but the Phoenicians had left out some important parts - namely the vowels - so Greece adapted it, polished it up and created the 24-letter alphabet on which our own 26-letter alphabet is founded.

Greek Roots, English Branches

When we mentioned above that many of the words we use in the English language every day have their roots in the Greek language, we weren't exaggerating. Here are just a few of the most common words in our daily conversations, and their Greek ancestry:

Democracy: The foundation of our government, comes from the Greek words "Demos," meaning "of the people" and "Cracy,"the Greek term for a government entity.

Bible: Imagine what we would have had to call the basis for Christianity if it wasn't for the Greek word "Biblios," which literally meant "Book."

Telephone and Telegraph: Two stepping stones to modern communications are anchored in the Greek word "Tele," which means something far away.

Mega: One of the bastions of the advertising and marketing world is a direct link from the Greek word "Mega," meaning big or powerful.

Kilogram & Kilowatt: Wouldn't have much meaning if it weren't for the Greek word "Kilo," meaning - you guessed it - one thousand.

While Zeus and the Gods of ancient Greek mythology may no longer be reigning on Mount Olympus, they still hold sway in the English lexicon:

Typhoon: One of the scariest of nature's storms is actually named after Typhon, the Greek father of all monsters.

Chaos: There's a little bit of it in all of our worlds, but the etymology of the word originated with Khaos, the nothingness from which all creation sprang.

Music: Every time you hear your favorite song, you can thank the Muses, those Goddesses of Inspiration and the Arts.

So, the next time you hear someone scratch their head and utter those words "It's all Greek to me," you can just nod your head and say "I'm glad to hear that you understand!


Greek Storytelling Tradition October 13, 2014 00:00

The history of humanity is best traced through the history of its fiction, and as with technology, philosophy and so much more, the Greeks were pioneers in this department. Their stories revolutionized the craft defining tropes and techniques that would be used for millennia to come. With their complex religious system, the Greeks valued stories in a way few cultures before them had, and their diverse and unique mythology opened them up to a wealth of incredible tales to inspire and instruct each new generation. The Greeks were the first culture to truly treat storytelling as an art form. Be it a poem, a play or a recitation, the act of weaving a complex narrative was paramount to creating a sculpture, or painting a picture. This is an idea that persists to this very day, writing is respected as a major art form.

Storytelling was so important in Greece that even their religion is a narrative, with a plot, character developments and status quo changes. This was utterly unique among cultures that generally had a religion that was still, unchanging and ever present. The Greeks were inspired to weave tales of great and powerful gods and heroes unmatched in their bravery and peril. These tales were the jumping off point for the poets that would come to define the entirety of storytelling with their techniques. The poet Homer revolutionized the war epic with his poem The Iliad and then redefined the heroes’ journey with his Odyssey. Sophocles penned the play Oedipus Rex, the epic tragedy that introduced and forever defined the term dramatic irony as it is used in literature.

In a culture so dedicated to learning and understanding the ways of the world, it is no wonder that storytelling became such a popular form of expression in Ancient Greece. It is an inseparable part of the culture that remains to this day in writers like Dimitris Lyacos and Jenny Mastoraki, Alexis Stamatis and Nina Rapi. These new writers come from a culture that defined what story telling would be and how it would be used to better humanity, and they carry on that legacy to this very day.


Three Architectural Orders October 3, 2014 00:00

Ancient Greece was a culture associated with high-concept thinking. Be it through storytelling such as Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, philosophy such as the teachings of Plato or through sculpture and other forms of art. Chances are though when you think of Greece you think of its architecture. From very early on in their history the Greek people set the bar when it came to architectural innovation developing new and previously unimagined tools and techniques for creating larger and more beautiful structures. The Ancient Greeks understood that a people must be reflected in their architecture and thus allowed their architects to do things with structure and design that were once thought undoable. Such a diverse and amazing palate of architectural innovation was later divided into sub categories focusing on the construction of the world famous Greek columns. Most people assume all Greek columns were the same, when in fact there was a rhyme and reason to have how each was created and they all fell into certain categories, these were called the three orders and they are still present in architecture today, not only in Greece but all around the world.

  1. Doric Order

    Based around standing columns flat on the pavement, and carving them with concave grooves, this style was known for the alternating vertical tablets surrounding their columns. These were both stylistic and practical, allowing the run-off of rain water. The Doric Order is focused around the rules of harmony.

  2. Ionic Order

    This order tends to be defined by the spirals or volutes based at the top of columns, designed to emulate clouds or perhaps crashing waves, this spirals were present in a great deal of Greek art. It required few tools and it is possible the baskets and satchels could have been hung from the notches in the marble.

  3. Corinthian Order

    The last of the three orders to be developed, the Corinthian style is centered upon the idea of elaborate decorations adorning the tops of columns, sweeping leaves and scrolls constructed from the marble to create a wondrous picture for people to observe as they walked below and marveled at the construction.


Signs Point to Greece September 27, 2014 00:00

If you are planning to visit Greece, you are not alone. Greece is one of the world’s most popular travel destinations. 2013 alone brought some 20 million visitors to absorb the rich Greek culture. Among the draws of Greece are the country’s beaches and perfect sunny weather, its many historical sites, nightlife and its natural beauty.

Driving in Greece
Anyone planning to visit this beautiful country will need to find a way that adequately transports them around the cities and from attraction to attraction. If you decide that you would like to drive while in Greece, be forewarned. Commandeering an auto on Greek roads is not for the faint hearted. It’s not for the timid soul who knows nothing of assertiveness, as these poor souls would be better off in selecting a calmer method of public transportation. And this brings us to a very special and unique fixture found everywhere in Greece: Greek road signs.

Greek Road Signs
Greek road signage is everywhere, and it carries such a significant heritage that the signs have even migrated all the way from Greece to other countries like the U.S.! The thing is, anyone observing Greek drivers and Grecian driving patterns will likely describe the Greek road signs as ambiguous, as evidenced by the many varied responses they produce in the drivers who encounter them. A more conservative opinion might be that it appears that the signs are relegated to an art form, rather than their purpose as being directional/instructional. What does this ultimately mean? Let’s just say that for those used to driving in North America, driving in Greece can be a challenge. To them Greek (and other European) drivers might appear aggressive.

Bring Greece Home With You
Travelers to Greece often wax nostalgically upon their experience of the true Greek ambiance. While it may not be financially possible to visit Greece every time you have a yearning for Spanakopita, you can enjoy a bit of Greece in your own home by posting your own, uniquely-Greek signs. Not just for the road, but for many other creative home uses, these signs will take you back to Greece, every time you see them.


Making Authentic Greek Gyros at Home September 4, 2014 00:00

Making Authentic Greek Gyros at Home How do you make your own gyro?

Signs are All There August 21, 2014 00:00

Some of us, we can all admit, do not have a great sense of direction. And this is especially true when we are in a completely new place in our own country or if we travel overseas for the first time. We tend to rely heavily on maps, the GPS on our smartphones or we try to find a local who understands our language and is willing to help us find our way around.

And most of the time it's because many of the signs we might use to lead us are in a language we may not understand. Being able to read signs in our native language can be very important - even if we learned the language of the home country, our default is where we're comfortable, and that is the language we've spoken all our lives.

What is handy are signs in both the home language and in our own native tongue, explaining the same destination or direction in the two languages so we can learn to translate and read in the home language while also understanding where to go.

And a fun souvenir for many people is a street sign from this foreign spot, that shows a sign in both a native and local language. Greece has many of these signs in English and in the native Greek, but the souvenir street signs are very difficult to find.

Unless, of course, you go to the online authority for all things Greek, kantyli.com. At kantyli.com, you can buy Greek road signs that have been popular items at Greek festivals in the Midwest, created by the folks behind kantyli.com - making them truly unique.

These are authentic Greek road signs just like what a tourist might find in Athens - Greek lettering on top and English underneath, with an arrow pointing the direction. And these signs by kantyli.com can fit well in your own house - directional signs leading to the kitchen, the bedroom or living room!

For a fun souvenir in your home that screams Greece while guiding guests around your home, visit kantyli.com and check out the online inventory of Greek road signs that can add some authentic Greek charm to your life!

Greek Road Signs August 15, 2014 00:00

Greek Road Signs

Greek road signs painted and reproduced to look just like the signs in Greece will give friends and loved ones memories of the home land.

 

 


Great Inventions of the Greeks August 14, 2014 00:00

Greek culture and history is, in a way, a history of the human world, as the Greeks have been around for thousands of years - even if Greece was itself conquered by others (like the Roman and Ottoman empires). Just as the people of Greece have lived on and survived for hundreds of generations, many inventions and innovations have lived on through various cultural changes as well.

We would like to take this time to acknowledge and appreciate some of the great Greek innovations that are vital to even today's cultural and societal fabric. What we will mention here are some creations that have an impact in modern society and education - what do you recognize?

Democracy

The concept of government in which all eligible people in a society has direct or indirect control of the governing body. Was instituted in Greek city-states like Athens as early as the sixth century B.C. The most common form of this governance today is the representative democracy, like the United States.

Euclidean Geometry

Euclid, a mathematician during the age of Alexander the Great, developed "Elements" about geometry, and included several postulates and "common notions" that have withstood the test of time. Do you remember the Transitive Property of Equality? How about the Reflexive Property? These are from Euclid.

Flexible Glass

No, Apple did not come up with this just recently for its iPhone design. However, this story has been called a legend for years. Word is that flexible glass came about from a craftsman in Greece during the time of Emperor Tiberius, who reigned from 14-37 A.D. The craftsman, whose name was not known, came to the emperor with a curved glass drinking bowl to show his skill. Supposedly, Tiberias threw it to the ground and it dented instead of broke, and the craftsman fixed the dent with a hammer. Instead of being impressed, Tiberias felt threatened by the man's knowledge and thus had him beheaded.

Frappe Coffee

Starbucks cannot lay claim to this foam-covered iced beverage. It apparently was invented "by accident" in 1957 in the Greek town of Thessaloniki, at the International Trade Fair by an employee of the Nestle Company. After gaining high popularity in Greece and Cyprus, it found its way around the world in the decades since.

Golden Ratio

This wasn't so much invented as it was discovered by Greeks when they found that this ratio was appearing often in certain calculations, and even in nature. It is believed to be a "natural" or "divine" ratio that was discovered and put to form some 2,500 years ago. It's simplest math definition is that the square of the golden ratio minus the golden ratio equals 1. Its approximate value is 1.618033.


Greek Gifts for Him August 11, 2014 00:00

Greek Gifts for Him We make so many gifts for your man, it's hard to decide, especially when we can customize many of the our products.

That's English? It's All Greek to Me! August 7, 2014 00:00

There is a reason why English is perhaps the mostly widely understood language in the world and is often the official language of much international business and government interactions - it contains words, phrases and grammatical tricks that have been borrowed, lifted, modified or flat-out stolen from other world languages, including the "Romantics" like Greek, Latin, Spanish, Italian, etc.

But with hundreds of thousands of words in the English language, and English being used for dozens of generations now, it's next to impossible to know where some words originate  without looking in a dictionary. There are even some words that have been borrowed so much that there's debate as to the actual origin of the original word.

But just so you know, in case you think Greek is a unique language all its own, we'd like to help connect you to the Greek culture, even if you have no Greek in your family! If you speak or otherwise use any of these words, then you are in effect speaking with a Greek dialect!

Check out this partial list of English words that have known Greek origins. Some of these will make sense, but do some of these surprise you?

  • anarchy
  • amphitheater
  • ambidextrous
  • antique
  • ancient
  • anatomy
  • philanthropy
  • antagonist
  • architect
  • automatic
  • autograph
  • authentic
  • chronic
  • cosmopolitan
  • democracy
  • demographic
  • dynamite
  • dynasty
  • euphemism
  • eulogy
  • encyclopedia
  • Bible
  • paraphrase
  • symphony
  • epithet
  • hypothesis
  • dialogue
  • gentle
  • petroleum

Popular English Names with Greek Origins and their Meanings June 16, 2014 00:00

Toula Portokalos burst into the scene with My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Her relatable character and zany family made for a very entertaining insight into the Greek culture which surprisingly resonates with others who are, according to her father Gus, non-Greeks. After all, most of the English words are borrowed from Greek, and most modern names you may come across likely have Greek roots. Gus even managed to connect the very Japanese 'kimono' to Greek.

True to his character, he toasted his daughter's wedding with, "The root of the word Miller is a Greek word. Miller come from the Greek word Milo, which is mean apple...our name Portokalos is come from the Greek word Portokali, which means orange."

Beyond apples and oranges, here is a short list of popular names in English usage with Greek origins and their meanings.

  • Alexander. Comes from the word 'alexandros' meaning 'defending men.' The root word of the name is 'alexo' meaning 'to defend, help.' Not surprisingly, the name has been adopted by various leaders throughout the ages to signify power.

  • Cynthia. Latinized form of the Greek 'woman from Kynthos' which referred to the Greek moon goddess Artemis who, along with twin Apollo, was born in the mountain of Kynthos.

  • Evangeline. Stems from 'ev' meaning 'good' and 'angelma' meaning 'news, message.' So Evangeline means 'good news.'

  • Gregory. One of the most widely used names for the Catholic pontiff,  Gregory comes from the Latinized from of Late Greek word 'gregoros' meaning 'watchful,' a quality that is perhaps required to ensure the faithful does not go astray.

  • Helen. From 'Helene' meaning 'torch.' Possibly derived from 'Selene,' the goddess of the moon. In Greek mythology, Helen was the daughter of Zeus who, in swan form, fathered her with the beautiful Leda. She was the same Helen of Troy (previously Helen of Sparta) whose "face launched a thousand ships" in the Trojan War.

  • Irene. Derived from the goddess Eirene who personified peace.

  • Jason. Derived from 'iasthai' meaning 'to heal.' The name also appears in New Testament, suggesting that 'Jason' maybe a Hellenized form of a Hebrew name.

  • Margaret. Comes from 'margarites' meaning 'pearl' which could have been borrowed from the Sanskrit 'manyari.'

  • Nicholas. Derived from 'Nikolaos' meaning 'people's victory.' Popularized in the Western world by a 4th century bishop, the name St. Nicholas was the basis of the beloved Christmas character Santa Claus.

  • Peter. Coming from the Greek 'petros' meaning 'stone,' the name Peter has come to be widely used by heads of church and monarchs, perhaps to impart the message that their leadership is built upon an unshakeable foundation.

  • Rhea. Latinized form of Greek 'Rheia' with an unknown meaning but perhaps related to 'rheo' meaning 'to flow' and 'era' meaning 'ground.' In Greek mythology, Rhea was the wife of Cronus, king of heaven and god of time, and the mother of gods and goddesses such as Zeus, Hades, Demeter, Poseidon and Hestia.

  • Sophia. Greek for 'wisdom,' the name Sophia lends itself to various uses: Hagia Sophia (Istanbul's basilica dedicated to 'Holy Wisdom,' philosophy (love of wisdowm), sophistication (quality of refinement displaying good taste and wisdom).

  • Stephen. Stems from 'stephanos' meaning 'crown.' Perhaps because of its origins, the name Stephen has long been used by the kings of Europe and the popes of the Catholic church.

  • Theodore. Derived from the word 'theo' meaning 'god' and 'doron' signifying 'gift,' Theodore has come to be widely used as names of saints in the Middle Ages who are indeed 'gifts of god.'

Personalized Gift Items from Kantyli June 6, 2014 00:00

Are you proud of your Greek heritage and want to wear it on your sleeve? We at Kantyli are here to help you do just that! You can order a wide range of custom made household items that showcase Greek history in all its glory. You can also get your names and popular quotes printed in Greek literature and have them presented to loved ones. Here is a list of products that epitomize Greek Culture.

Greek Coffee Mugs

You can order custom made coffee cups that feature names in authentic Greek. You can order cups of different colors for the whole family. Kids will especially love this type of personalized attention. It will also encourage them to know more about their Greek history and will also help to keep traditions alive. The cups can be embossed with attractive fonts and designs that will further enhance the visual appeal. The coffee mugs can also be used as pencil holders in your work space. The ceramic mugs are available in shades of red, blue, green, pink, black and white and can hold up to 10 oz. of liquid.

Marble Paper Weights

You can purchase a beautifully engraved marble paperweight from Kantyli, which features a famous quote from Winston Churchill where he commends the Greeks by saying, “Hence, we will not say that Greeks fight like heroes, but that heroes fight like Greeks”. You could also go in for an alternate option which features a celebrated hymn of Jesus Christ.

Board Signs

You can use custom made Greek sign boards made from high quality Alder wood. Greek lettering are tastefully engraved on these oval shaped boards. You can use these boards as display signs at your home, business and even in restaurants where you can engrave popular quotes from Greek folklore. The boards are available in many different sizes with 12 “by 4-3/8” being the widest. It should be noted that these boards are meant for indoor use only.

Gift Items

You can order these items online and present them as gifts to your favorite Greek friends. Personalized gifts like these have their own way of warming the heart and here at Kantyli, we provide you with a wide range of options. You can custom order lapel buttons, Drachma rocks, Greek wear, picture frames, name key chains, DVD gifts, stamp coasters, agate icons, wood plaques, Horio signs, pencils, magnets, medallions and YiaYia Koutalas.


Ecclesia Project, Part II June 4, 2014 00:00

Ecclesia Project, Part II Something happened at this church that changed my life forever.

Christ Pantocrator May 28, 2014 00:00

Christ Pantocrator

The most common translation of Pantocrator is "Almighty" or "All-powerful". Another, more literal translation is "Ruler of All" or, less literally, "Sustainer of the World". In this understanding, Pantokrator is a compound word formed from the Greek for "all" and the verb meaning "To accomplish something" or "to sustain something." This translation speaks more to God's actual power; i.e., God does everything (as opposed to God can do everything.).

Meaning

The Pantokrator, largely an Eastern Orthodox or Eastern Catholic theological conception is less common by that name in Western (Roman) Catholicism and largely unknown to most Protestants. In the West the equivalent image in art is known as Christ in Majesty, which developed a rather different iconography. The primary transference of the title "Pantokrator" to refer to Christ rather than the Creator was a result of the Christological shift that occurred during the fourth century, reflected through iconography; Christ Pantocrator has come to suggest Christ as a mild but stern, all-powerful judge of humanity.

Adapted Imagery?

The icon of Christ Pantokrator is one of the most widely used religious images of Orthodox Christianity. Generally speaking, in Byzantine church art and architecture, an iconic mosaic or fresco of Christ Pantokrator occupies the space in the central dome of the church, in the half-dome of the apse or on the nave vault. Some scholars consider the Pantocrator a Christian adaptation of images of Zeus, such as the great statue of Zeus enthroned at Olympia. The development of the earliest stages of the icon from Roman Imperial imagery is easier to trace.

As an Icon

The icon, traditionally half-length when in a semi-dome, which became adopted for panel icons also, depicts Christ fully frontal with a somewhat melancholy and stern aspect, with the right hand raised in blessing or, in the early encaustic panel at Saint Catherine's Monastery, the conventional rhetorical gesture that represents teaching. The left hand holds a closed book with a richly decorated cover featuring the Cross, representing the Gospels. An icon where Christ has an open book is called "Christ the Teacher", a variant of the Pantocrator. Christ is bearded, his brown hair centrally parted, and his head is surrounded by a halo. The icon is usually shown against a gold background comparable to the gilded grounds of mosaic depictions of the Christian emperors.

Image is the Christ Pantokrator located in the interior of the Annunciation Cathedral, located on LaSalle Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. Book image is from the ECCLESIA, Greek Orthodox Churches of the Chicago Metropolis, 2004. 


Greek Independence Day March 16, 2014 00:00

Greek Independence day is celebrated March 23rd of every year.

Items to Include for Your Greek Event February 14, 2014 00:00

No matter what the occasion of your event is, there is always room to include Greek items for everyone to take home! So what types of things could you have at your event

There are many different items that you can choose from when it comes to getting gifts that your guests can take home. You may give them away, or they may even be for purchase, but the one thing that you can bet they will be is Greek!

Getting shirts are always a popular option when it comes to any event. They can have Greek figures on them such as Hercules, or even the Byzantine Eagle. These shirts can be royal blue or white, and with the freedom to pick your variety of sizes, you can be sure that the shirt will look good on anyone in the family.

Maybe you want to give people something that they can wear everyday. The Lapel buttons are great for those who want to wear something Greek with any outfit. These attractive buttons can be worn with anything and they have some of your favorite Greek phrases. They are very inexpensive, so feel free to have as many as you want!

Do you know anyone who does not need a key chain? Think of all the keys that people have including car, home, and sometimes even work. Greek key chains are great to hand out at a large event and they come in a variety of bold, vibrant colors! You can even have them personalized with people’s names in Greek.

Coffee mugs are always great for events because they can serve a dual purpose. They can not only do the obvious, which is hold a drink, but at the event they can also be used to house smaller gift items! The mugs can have things on them such as the Greek flag or even your very own name written in Greek.

Finding items for your Greek event is not as hard as you may think. There are many things available that people will love!


Sip a Cup of Delicious Greek Coffee and Read Your Fortune! February 3, 2014 00:00

There are plenty of beverages that are fun to share with friends, but few of them beat Greek coffee. This bold, energizing drink in its classic little cup gives warmth and charm to every occasion. Plus, the fun doesn’t stop when you’ve finished drinking! The little lumps of solid coffee grounds spread around the bottom and sides of the cup hold clues to your future.

Putting More Greek in Your Home January 30, 2014 00:00

Putting More Greek in Your Home Putting Greek back in your home!

Perfect Wedding Gifts January 18, 2014 00:00

Wedding gifts can be very difficult to shop for. It can be hard to determine what will truly touch the hearts of the bride and groom on their special day. There are some spectacular items that you can get to end all your wedding gift anxiety. These items are festive and will remind the couple of authentic Greek heritage.