St. Abanoub is a Coptic child saint who sacrificed himself as a martyr at the age of 11. For the last four years Milton’s Coptic Christian Church holds a festival marking the sacrifice. Abanoub’s feast day was July 31, 2017. This year’s edition was held July 29.

The front of the building held a BBQ, and pony rides. In the back parking lot were other games including a hand-built version of Angry Birds, a gladiator game, and several water sports. “The one who leads this festival is kids, with the support of adults,” Organizer Ramy Botros summarized. Botros’ daughter was among the organizers.

Families came from all over Halton to enjoy the festival organized for kids, by kids. Nourhan Gurgis attended with two of her kids, one of whom is a 17-year old volunteer. The festival was familiar to her because of the church. “For the older kids it’s nice to be helping the younger kids,” she said. The feeling of community is important to her. “All of us who are immigrants here have people to have fun with you, pray with you, and play with you.” She said.

Dhalia Bashtun has a three year old son. She knows how important it is to have the older youth be an example. “When he sees somebody that’s not too old participating, it kind of encourages him.” For her the festival is a perfect time to meet people. “This is a good opportunity to get to know each other, and also a good opportunity for us to get to know those who are in the Milton community,” she said. She continued describing the festival it as an open festival for anyone in the community, “whether they are Christian or not.”

Proceeds for this event went to support the Church of St. George & St. Abanoub located at: 860 Nipissing Rd, Milton Ontario. To learn more, visit their website: www.sgsamilton.ca

Photos by: Emilie Dee

Laura Steiner
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