How Greece marks the Dormition of the Virgin Mary

15 August 2018
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There are many customs and festivals organized all over Greece on Aug. 15 in commemoration of the Virgin Mary.

This day is a public holiday in Greece so Greeks are able to mark one of the most important days in Orthodox Christianity, the Dormition of the Virgin Mary.

People attend religious services and throw parties all over the country.

Different places in Greece celebrate this day — also referred to as “the summer Easter” — in different ways.

The Virgin Mary is a holy figure for Greeks for both religious and national reasons. Being the mother of Jesus is only half of the reason why Greeks revere her.

The Virgin Mary is also thought to be deeply connected with the Greek nation’s freedom, in many cases.

She is referred to in Greece as Panagia, and is considered to be the mother to all men and a symbol of protection and comfort.

This has resulted in variations of different names being given to her throughout the country by locals wanting to thank the Panagia for her help in their times of need.

In every church and chapel dedicated to the Panagia, she is given a last name which indicates either the miracles she is expected to perform or the graces she is endowed with.

For example, there is Panagia the Healer, the Merciful, the Graceful, the Sweet-Talking, the Savior of Souls, the Mistress of the Angels, the Philanthropist, and the list goes on.

Here are some insights as to how Greeks celebrate this holy day throughout the country.

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