Greek Orthodox community comes together to celebrate church name day in Wagga

Wagga’s Greek community gathered for a special event at the weekend in celebration of the Orthodox Church’s name day.

More than 150 people attended the annual feast from across three states, draped in all things colourful and patriotic.

Children cheerfully ran around the backyard with Greek and Australian flags in hand, Yiayia’s sold traditional treats at a pop-up store, and others gathered inside to try their luck in a raffle.

Screams of Greek language were all that could be heard in the background, and treasurer of Wagga’s orthodox community Nick Georgiou said he felt humbled by the turn out.

“We celebrate our church name day every year on August 15,” he said.

“If the date is during the week, we’ll usually hold something on a weekend so more people can come.

“Every year we have people come from Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Albury.

“We had about 80 to 100 come from outside of Wagga.”

In Greek culture, the month of August is known as Panagia and represents the Virgin Mary’s journey to the throne as she becomes Queen of the Heavens.

Mr Georgiou said the celebration is a way of bringing people who are from all walks of life, back together.

“It’s like a big community reunion we have every year,” he said.

“A lot of the people that went to Sydney and Melbourne originated in Wagga and they still won’t ever forget the city.

“My dad came here as an eight-year-old from Cyprus and the community has been here just over 50 years.

“There is a big Greek community around Wagga and we’re always excited to share our culture with anyone we can.”