Friday, 15 August 2014

August Celebrations

August Celebrations

Panagia, August 15th

August 15th is the most important religious holiday in Greece after Easter and Christmas. This is why all the islands are filled with families returning to their home villages. It is almost impossible to get a seat on a plane or place on a ferry in the week before. Or to get one to leave the island in the week after!


One place the 'many' gather at our house

Takis, our resident philosopher, gives advice to his daughter

So, the entire country is virtually shut down, and everyone takes advantage of the long weekend to celebrate with family members. There are seven of us in our house at the moment, but other large holiday houses nearby are filled to overflowing. (unfortunately so are the septic pits, and the sewage trucks are very busy.) Sorry about adding that note, but it is part of the flavour of the island at present.

What is it all about, well the celebration is for Panagia (Virgin Mary) who is supposed to have ascended to the heavens on this day. Those that have this as a name day have related names, Maria, Mary, Marios, and Panagiotis, or Panayotis, etc.

Celebrations at Our House

The man at the BBQ, and supervisor!
The meal prepared and photographed!

We have celebrated Takis (Panayotis) name day. We had ten visitors calling in to wish him well, and many phone calls from other members of the family. We’d had a lunch the day before for ten, and on the day there were the seven of us.

This pie was made by our resident sweets chef!





Galaktobouriko, made for Takis name day

Another get-together this month has featured an Egyptian meal
This is a Greek Family who grew up in Alexandria, and love Egyptian food

August Greek Name Days,

Greek Orthodox Saints Days

  • August 6 - Sotiris, Sotiria
  • August 7 - Asterios
  • August 15 - Assumption Day - Maria, Marios, Despina, Panagiotis, Panayotis, Koimisi tis Theotokos, Thespina
  • August 24 - Kosmas
  • August 25 - Titos
  • August 26 - Andrianos, Natalias, Nathalia, Natalia
  • August 27 - Fanourios
  • August 30 - Alexandros, Alexandra
In this picture Alexandra Tsamba lights a candle at the remote monastery of Panagia Rodia which is nestled in the Vigla mountain and overlooks the fertile Rodia lagoon. She describes how she as a young girl walked with her family for hours through a rough footpath at the slopes of Vigla mountain in order to offer a candle to Panagia. She recalls how they walked almost all day from Aneza during August 14, and then stayed overnight at the monastery before they took the return trip for their village.

Even the most elaborate holidays acquire a simple meaning in remote places, with a humble candle and a prayer and this day is celebrated in almost every town and village in Greece especially those with a church dedicated to the Panagia (Virgin Mary).

Meanwhile, everyday life goes on. Can they mend this old washing machine?

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