12km litany in Skiathos island

A lot of people come and stay in the monastery until late, chanting for the icon. I found a small cell with a fireplace and I decided to sleep there with a local guy since I should get up before sunrise to follow the litany. Most of the people have left, headed back home, planning to arrive in the morning, for the litany.
Photography / Text: Michael Pappas

November. I would like to visit Skiathos island since the Monastery of Holy Mary Kounistra is celebrating and it is a good chance to visit also my village since the boat to Skiathos departs from Mantoudi, the village next to mine. The trip to Skiathos lasts for about 1 and a half hour.

12km litany in Skiathos island - Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island
Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island - Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island
Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas

I reach the island and I already know that the Monastery is 12 km from Skiathos town. I ask some locals and get the information that there is a bus that will take me directly to the monastery.

On my arrival at the Monastery, I see the icon of Holy Mary on the hands of believers that have walked from Skiathos town up to here, 12 km on foot. I think that next year I should come one day earlier in order to take photos of this litany too, my plan depending of course on the boat itineraries.

12km litany in Skiathos island - Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island
Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island - Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island
Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island - Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island
Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas

12km litany in Skiathos island - Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island
Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas

12km litany in Skiathos island - Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island
Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island - Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island
Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas

A lot of people come and stay in the monastery until late, chanting for the icon. I found a small cell with a fireplace and I decided to sleep there with a local guy since I should get up before sunrise to follow the litany. Most of the people have left, headed back home, planning to arrive in the morning, for the litany.

This time, the litany will start from the Monastery and end up in Skiathos town.

12km litany in Skiathos island - Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island
Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island - Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island
Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas

12km litany in Skiathos island - Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island
Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island - Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island
Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas

12km litany in Skiathos island - Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island
Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island - Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island
Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas

Bells woke me. It is still dark but a lot of people have already started the litany, with the icon, towards Skiathos town.

12km litany in Skiathos island - Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island
Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island - Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island
Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas

During the litany, people are chanting. Everyone wants to hold the icon, even for some minutes, they consider this a blessing. Litany stops in several spots where people make a circle and pray. At some point, the litany passes from a wild pine tree forest.

12km litany in Skiathos island - Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island
Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas

12km litany in Skiathos island - Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island
Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island - Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island
Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island - Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island
Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas

12km litany in Skiathos island - Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island
Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas

12km litany in Skiathos island - Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island
Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island - Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island
Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island - Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island
Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas

After hours of walking, the sun is up in the sky and the litany reaches Skiathos town where lots of people are expecting the litany that passes through town's streets and the port to end up to the church where the mass will take place.

12km litany in Skiathos island - Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island
Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas

12km litany in Skiathos island - Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island
Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island - Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island
Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island - Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island
Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas

12km litany in Skiathos island - Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island
Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island - Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island
Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas

12km litany in Skiathos island - Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island
Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas

I saw and experienced the 12 km litany, I cannot stay more on the island, I got to hurry up and catch the boat (if I lose it then I will have to wait for days for the next one!) Even if I stayed only for so little time, I met people with whom I am still in contact. I really wish I will see them the next time I come to Skiathos.

12km litany in Skiathos island - Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island
Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island - Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island
Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas

12km litany in Skiathos island - Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
12km litany in Skiathos island
Greece. North Aegean. Skiathos. © Michael Pappas
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Location

12km litany in Skiathos island

Unnamed Road Skiathos
Skiathos, North Aegean, Greece

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