Aug 14, 2014

Celebrating the Assumption of Virgin Mary in Santorini

Everybody on the island is getting ready to celebrate the biggest holiday of the summer, the Assumption of Virgin Mary into Heaven in mid-August, and gather in churches dedicated to Her so as to honor her, as she is considered inspiration and comfort.
There are about 50 churches dedicated to Virgin Mary in Santorini celebrating tonight and tomorrow! Among the most important celebrations of the Assumption held in Santorini are the church of "Panagia Episkopi" in Mesa Gonia, the church of the "Assumption" in Akrotiri, the "Assumption" in Firostefani and in Megalochori and "Panagia Kokini" in Karterados.

In the afternoon today, after the evening ceremony at 19.00, the church of "Panagia Episkopi" holds one of the oldest festivals in the Aegean and Greece, where crowds of worshipers gather in the churchyard to pray and eat the local feast “panigyri” made of local “fava”, black eyed peas and of course local wine.
In the churchyard of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Akrotiri an authentic island feast will also be held with traditional “panigyri”, plenty of wine and dancing.
In Firostefani, at the church of the Assumption, pasta with octopus will be shared with everyone after the evening prayers.
You can easily understand where these festivals are held by the crowds and the colorful little flags decorating the churches. You will be surprised by the hospitality of the locals and the massive participation of believers in the preparation and cooking of the food.