Assumption of Mary Festival

Festival for the Assumption of Mary. All girls in their colourful dresses go to church in Olympos
Photography / Text: George Tatakis

This is a very important day for Olympos, as is for all over Greece. August 15 is the day that the Assumption of Mary is celebrated everywhere with festivals. The weather is beautiful and all Greeks have taken their annual leave and fled the city of Athens. 

Assumption of Mary Festival - Greece. South Aegean. Olimpos. © George Tatakis
Assumption of Mary Festival
Greece. South Aegean. Olimpos. © George Tatakis

The girls in Olympos are getting ready for the big day. They will wear their colourful traditional dresses with the aid of their sisters or mothers and hang on their necks the golden necklaces, sign of the family's wealth. 

The girls will hang on their necks the golden necklaces, sign of the family's wealth.

Assumption of Mary Festival - Greece. South Aegean. Olimpos. © George Tatakis
Assumption of Mary Festival
Greece. South Aegean. Olimpos. © George Tatakis

Assumption of Mary Festival - Greece. South Aegean. Olimpos. © George Tatakis
Assumption of Mary Festival
Greece. South Aegean. Olimpos. © George Tatakis
Assumption of Mary Festival - Greece. South Aegean. Olimpos. © George Tatakis
Assumption of Mary Festival
Greece. South Aegean. Olimpos. © George Tatakis

The village, especially the main square where the church is, is packed with tourists. Olympos is the most famous village in the island and this day is very special. After all, the main church in Olympos (Out of maybe 200?) is devoted to Virgin Mary, so it is celebrating today. 

Olympos is the most famous village in the island and this day is very special

As soon as the morning Mass comes to its end, the dressed up girls take the narrow alleys towards the church in order to pay respect to the church, wish to the relatives and friends and of course show off their dresses and golden jewellery. 

Assumption of Mary Festival - Greece. South Aegean. Olimpos. © George Tatakis
Assumption of Mary Festival
Greece. South Aegean. Olimpos. © George Tatakis
Assumption of Mary Festival - Greece. South Aegean. Olimpos. © George Tatakis
Assumption of Mary Festival
Greece. South Aegean. Olimpos. © George Tatakis

Assumption of Mary Festival - Greece. South Aegean. Olimpos. © George Tatakis
Assumption of Mary Festival
Greece. South Aegean. Olimpos. © George Tatakis

The older ladies find the opportunity for gossiping all local stories. They have a lot of news to share, because unlike the winter, Olympos is full of life during August and many Olympians have gathered from places like Piraeus, Rhodes or even the US.

Assumption of Mary Festival - Greece. South Aegean. Olimpos. © George Tatakis
Assumption of Mary Festival
Greece. South Aegean. Olimpos. © George Tatakis
Assumption of Mary Festival - Greece. South Aegean. Olimpos. © George Tatakis
Assumption of Mary Festival
Greece. South Aegean. Olimpos. © George Tatakis

Tourists look and wander around. Everything looks peculiar and new. They want to blend in and not feel too distant, so that is a good excuse to buy some local clothing and accessories to put on. 

Assumption of Mary Festival - Greece. South Aegean. Olimpos. © George Tatakis
Assumption of Mary Festival
Greece. South Aegean. Olimpos. © George Tatakis
Assumption of Mary Festival - Greece. South Aegean. Olimpos. © George Tatakis
Assumption of Mary Festival
Greece. South Aegean. Olimpos. © George Tatakis

After the Mass is finished, Olympians start to move towards the place where the table is set to feed anyone sitting. Tourists are usually too shy to attend, so most of the people at the table are locals. Sometimes, if the weather allows it, the table can be set outside on the main square. Most of the times however, the table is set at a special building they have for such occasions, called Megaron. 

Assumption of Mary Festival - Greece. South Aegean. Olimpos. © George Tatakis
Assumption of Mary Festival
Greece. South Aegean. Olimpos. © George Tatakis

Assumption of Mary Festival - Greece. South Aegean. Olimpos. © George Tatakis
Assumption of Mary Festival
Greece. South Aegean. Olimpos. © George Tatakis
#dance #olympos #festival #food #dress #table #costume #church #island #religion

Location

Assumption of Mary Festival

Epar.Od. Olimpou-Diafaniou Olimpos
Olimpos, South Aegean, Greece

Have a coffee

Parthenon - Nikos (Men) Filippakis

Epar.Od. Olimpou-Diafaniou Olimpos
Olimpos, South Aegean, Greece