Saturday, November 20, 2010

Panagia Eikonistria

Today and tomorrow the island is celebrating its biggest local religious feast. It is in the honour of the Virgin Mary.
Around 1650 an icon of the Virgin was found in a tree in a very secluded area. A little church was built in this place to honour the icon. Later it became a monastery. In these days there are no longer monks living in the monastery but the church is still in use.
And once a year on the 20th of November, the Icon is brought from the main church in town, where it is kept, to the monastery of Eikonistria where it was found all those years ago.

This is done by foot, following the old original path to the monastery.
The icon will stay there all night together with many people who will have a feast in the old cells, with prayer but also with food, wine and music. And tomorrow morning they will walk the icon back to town.
Here are some foto's of today's beautiful walk and more can be found here

Before the start of the procession, there is a lot of shooting to welcome the icon.

It is a long but beautiful walk. In the far distance you can see the path we have to follow

Here is the view from that path.

Some do the walk on barefoot

Arrival at the monastery

The old church built in the 17th century

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