With Greek Easter coming up very soon (the Orthodox date this year falling on Sunday, 8 April, a week after Catholic Easter), what better time to shine the spotlight on Australia’s Greek population.
Kaló Páscha everyone! (Happy Easter!)
Greeks in Australia – at a glance
- According to the most recent Australian Census 2016 data, close to a quarter of a million Australian residents speak Greek at home.
- 8 per cent of Australia’s population has a Greek background. While 1.8 per cent doesn’t sound like a very large number, in fact it equates to 421,000 people – that’s the population of Newcastle!
- Compared with other Australian-born children of non-English speaking communities, Australia’s Greek community enjoys some of the highest percentages of people who speak their parents’ language. (Census 2016)
- Greeks form the 7th largest ethnic group in Australia.
- Since 2015, the flow of Greek migration has increased due to the economic crisis. Greek immigration to Australia has been one of the most important migratory flows in the history of Australia.
- Melbourne is home to one of the largest Greek diaspora communities in the world as well as being the city with the largest Greek-speaking population outside Greece.
- Suburbs with high concentrations of Greek Australians include Coburg, Preston, Port Melbourne, Oakleigh and Doncaster.
So, what is Greek Easter?
Greeks in Australia (Greece, and all over the world) have deeply rooted customs and centuries-old traditions, with one of the greatest celebrations of Christianity being Easter.
With most Greek Christians being Orthodox, the faithful follow Holy Week rituals with devotion. Here are some important dates and associated traditions.
- On Maundy Thursday, preparations for the celebration of the Resurrection commence. Families traditionally prepare a delicious Easter brioche called tsoureki and dye eggs with special red dyes, a custom that symbolises the rebirth of life and nature.
- On Good Friday, people decorate Jesus’ crown of thorns with flowers and adhere to strict fasting
- On Easter Saturday morning, preparations start for a festive dinner, with many families eating the traditional maghiritsa (a tripe and herb soup).
- On Easter Sunday morning, the traditional 40 days of fasting comes to an end, and many families eat spit or oven-roasted lamb. The atmosphere is festive and full of joy and excitement.
The cultural significance of this time of year present an attractive opportunity for brands to connect and engage with Australia’s Greek community during a period when they are particularly receptive.
Get in touch with MultiConnexions today for cutting-edge cultural insights and advice for targeting Australia’s large Greek community with your next campaign. Want to read more? Check out our previous Easter-themed blogs Eggs and Baskets and Eating our way into Easter.