The Olympics as a Hellene

The Olympics as a Hellene August 3, 2016

The Olympics will be upon us soon, and I have to admit something terrible.  I have never really liked the Olympics.  In the past, when I watched normal free to air TV and thus had 3-5 channels to choose from, the Olympics seriously pissed me off, every damn time they happened.  I don’t watch free to air TV anymore, so that’s not really a consideration now.

I don’t really like sports.  Which makes my choice of Hellenism kind of funny and weird.  I like some of the events – gymnastics for instance, I love the gymnastics events.  But of course, that rarely got airplay on Aussie TV, except maybe at 2am.  No here our TVs were inundated with never ending swimming.  And I detest swimming.

So perhaps you can understand why I always hated it when the Olympics were happening.  Never. Ending. Swimming.

But this year things are different.  For one, I don’t watch normal TV anymore, I should have ready access to any event I want to watch.  Yay, gymnastics.  And, I am Hellenic now so there is more to it than just the sporting events.  So I have to figure out what I am going to do for the Olympics.

Sydney harbour, olympics closing ceremony
Sydney Olympics closing ceremony. Public domain, via wikimedia commons.

Zeus

The Olympics were in honour of Zeus, so it stands to reason He should be a focus for the duration of the Olympics.  I think I will do proper rituals with food offerings and all the rest for the start of the games and again for the end.

The opening ceremony is apparently at 9am on Saturday, my time, which is impossible for me to work with when I have a very clingy 11 month old attached to me – so I guess I will do my “opening ritual” the evening before, so Friday night.

The closing ceremony is at 9am on the 22nd of August, my time and again, horrible timing, but this time I think I will do my “closing ritual” on the evening of the 22nd and hold the day itself for, well, feasting.  The fact that the 22nd also happens to be my (aaargh 30th) birthday, makes it even more suitable for feasting!

Between these two dates I will try to do a basic incense, hymn and libation ritual to Him daily as well.

Craftiness

Most festivals, including the Olympics, also held some art competition – it wasn’t all about athletics.  So I feel this will be a great time for getting crafty.  I am not entirely sure what yet, but I will figure something out.  As a homeschooling mum I will encourage the kids to get crafty on Olympic stuff.  Wreaths and torches and medallions for a start.  Here are some ideas on Pinterest.

The Torch

It’s a big part of the modern Olympics of course, and torch processions were somewhat popular in ancient Hellas as well.  This one is a little more difficult for me – I would love to be able to have a candle or something burning the entire time, but it’s just not safe in a house full of children.  Also, I am not sure I have enough candles to do it anyway.  If only I actually had an LED candle or better yet, an LED torch (not flashlight torch, but fake flame torch).

At the least I will, as part of the “opening ritual” light a candle in honour of both Hestia and Hekate – flame and torch Goddesses as they are.

The Games

Of course I will need to watch some of the events. Though I think I will be avoiding the swimming ones.  I think  my kids will enjoy watching some too.  And I should probably teach them how to get all patriotic and cheer for Australia – it’s probably my duty or something.

I wouldn’t mind getting the kids to try out some events of their own at home – but we won’t be able to do much with the mud traps outside – August is the worst time for doing stuff outside, I swear.  But I think we can adapt at least certain things to inside, and just do our own indoor competitions as well.

Some Other Stuff

Not religious but the Olympics provides a lot of opportunities for homeschoolers.  It will be the perfect time to read them some myths, they will love all the flags and learning about them and finding each nation on our world map.  Maths will be in use, we can certainly tally up all the medals throughout.  Arts and crafts I have already mentioned, and sports of course.  We can even have a look at some history, especially the part where we have hosted the Olympics twice in Australia – but also the origins of the Olympics, because, well why wouldn’t you look at that?

I suppose we could look at some other stuff, like the politics and cultural and environmental issues of the modern Olympics.  Yeh, I have been hearing about some of the crap that has happened this pre-Olympics, and of course during previous years as well.  But I don’t know yet if we will look at that or not – maybe it is better saved for when they are older.  Make this years Olympics fun, and save some of the more serious stuff for next time.  2020.  Dear Gods.

Now I just need to formulate the opening and closing rituals.  Once I do that, I only have a couple days, I will try to post them for everyone to judge.


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