Tomorrow is August 15!

Wonderworking Theotokos icon

Tomorrow is August 15, the feast of the Dormition of Theotokos. Here in Greece we call it “the Easter of The Summer”.  All Orthodox Christians love Virgin Mary and honor her. The day of August 15 all the churches are full of people who come to share their problems with Theotokos, they light a candle and they sing all together the Lementations of the Dormition.

Here are some of the most popular celebrations from all across Greece:

Kefalonia – Lady Fidousa
Numerous believers gather each year in the courtyard of the Holy Monastery of Panagia Fidousa in Markopoulo, Kefalonia to see the “Lady of the Snakes.” Every August 15, small snakes appear in the belfry and the church committee collects them in the yard of the Holy Temple. According to the tradition, snakes bring good luck to the island. If they do not appear, it is a bad omen, as happened, for example, in the year of major earthquakes in Kefalonia, some decades ago.

Dodecanese (Patmos) – Epitaph Mary
On the island of Patmos, the island of Orthodoxy, where everything revolves around the historic Monastery of the Apocalypse, the monks follow the custom of the Epitaph Mary, a custom of Byzantine origins. The gold epitaph of Mary wanders the streets of the island in a grand procession, while the bells of the monastery and other churches ring incessantly.

Cyclades (Koufonissia) – With the boats to the Virgin
On Assumption day, the Virgin Mary is celebrated in the chapel in Lower Koufonisi. After the services, food is offered by the inhabitants who are then transported by boats to Ano Koufonisi. Upon returning, locals and foreigners party until dawn on the island, with music, wine, ouzo and seafood provided by the fishermen of the area.