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Assumption of the Virgin Mary 2022

One of the largest Orthodox celebrations in Greece


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The Virgin Mary has many names. In Greek Orthodox tradition, she is often called Panagia. This name also symbolizes the ceremonies commemorating the assumption of the Virgin.

The most legendary celebration is held on August 15th, when the whole country unites to honour the mother of Christ. Often called summer Easter, this celebration is almost as significant as Easter itself. About 20,000 regional festivals take place around the country on this date, with the most interesting ones being held in Lesvos, Paros, Ikaria, Amorgos, and Kefalonia.

According to legend, the church of Virgin Mary on Paros island has 99 visible doors and one that cannot be seen. The Dormition of Virgin Mary Church in Markopoulo, on Kefalonia island, hosts snakes from August 6th to 15th, that are called Virgin Mary’s snakes. In Koufonissia, the holiday is marked by a sailing race. These are only a few of the unusual Greek traditions, but almost every village in Greece has a special tradition for the Virgin Mary Assumption Day.

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