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Dozens of processions in Corfu for Assumption of Virgin Mary

15 Aug 2023 / 13:26

CORFU. Virgin Mary is honoured in dozens of churches and monasteries on the island.

There are dozens of processions of the Epitaphio of the Virgin Mary on the eve of August 15 in Corfu, whose special and unique feature is their decoration with thousands of colorful ribbons that symbolise the Holy Belt given by the Virgin Mary to the Apostles.

The 15th of August, also called the "Easter of summer", is celebrated with great splendour in Corfu with processions, as well as the traditional dish of the "orphan" pasta (without any meat) and the meat broth.

Every year in Mantouki on the eve of August 15 the Virgin Mary procession takes place. In the afternoon, there are Vespers and then the procession takes place in the whole area with the philharmonic bands of Corfu.

It is a unique custom that is revived in Corfu every year, with the women of the cultural associations tying the ribbons on the Epitaphio of Virgin Mary so that it is ready for the eve of August 15. The ribbons are distributed to the believers on August 15. "The blessed ribbons" kept on the iconostasis bring health and happiness to every household.

Epitaphio of Panagia Kassopitra

The Panagia Vlacherna is being honoured as well. The monastery, which dominates on a strip of land in the sea, dates back to the 17th century, while its geographical position opposite Pontikonisi is the trademark of Corfu. Since 1747, the Monastery of Yperagia Theotokou Evangelistria in the village of Evropouli is also celebrated, while all the monasteries, such as Ypsili and Myrtiotissa, are celebrated with splendour.

The believers in Corfu greet the celebration of the 15th of August with fifteen days of fasting. In the mountainous village of Stavros, 13km away from Corfu, the preparations of the local association begin early in the morning of the eve of August 15. The members of the association cook the "orphan" pasta, which will be offered for free to the pilgrims in the evening after the Virgin Mary Epitaphio procession.

The Holy Church of Panagia Paleokastritissa is celebrated in western Corfu. The monastery was built, according to religious tradition, following the discovery of the icon with Virgin Mary.

In South Corfu, in Lefkimmi, the Monastery of the Lady of the Angels (Kyra ton Angelon) is celebrated., which was built in 1696 AD by the family of Varlaam Kapodistrias, while in North Corfu, in Magoulades, the Holy Church of Yperagia Theotokou Ypsilis Magouladon is celebrated. Its beginning dates back to the first quarter of the 10th century.


In Paxos

In Paxos, in the port of Gaios, which is the capital of Paxos, there are two islets, Agios Nikolaos and Panagia. On the island of Panagia, which the locals also call the island of Madonna, there is the Monastery of Panagia of Vellianiton. There, on 15 August, people boil the so-called "broth" made from a calf, which is distributed to all pilgrims, locals and visitors alike to honour the Virgin Mary. In Corfu, they have always celebrated the Assumption of the Virgin Mary much more, because in the summer everyone returns to the island and their family homes.

In Othoni the celebration lasts for several days and the feast takes place on 16 August. The Virgin Mary is honoured in the Holy Trinity Church in Ammos, as all other churches are closed.

The events in Corfu will end on August 23. Local fairs (panigiri) are held in Pelekas, Gastouri, Agioi Deka, Temploni, Agrafi, Avliotes, Lefkimmi, etc.


Source: APE - MPE