In modern Greece, the festival dedicated to the ‘Dormition’ of the Panagia (‘the All-Holy One’), who is the Virgin Mary, is celebrated on 15 August. On Tinos, in the island group of the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea, this fertility- and healing-festival dedicated to the Dormition of the Panagia is particularly important due to several reasons. The Church of the Panagia, Euangelistria (‘the Annunciation’), owes its fame to a miraculous holy icon (image) of the Annunciation, which was unearthed in a field in 1823. Since then, the miracles worked by this icon have made Tinos a centre of Pan-Orthodox worship, and pilgrimages are particularly made to this greatest shrine of Greek Orthodoxy during the Dormition. The Dormition of the Panagia is also an important ideological manifestation for the ‘new Greek nation-state of 1821’, as demonstrated through several ceremonies during the festival, particularly the procession when the icon is carried from the church to the harbour. The festival is also a significant occasion to study gendered spheres, as well as the relationship between various Greek population groups.
This article is based on several periods of fieldwork, carried out from 1990 to the present, involving research into the festival dedicated to the Dormition of the Panagia on Tinos, and it explores some of the main elements of this festival, within a current socio-economic and political framework.
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Håland, Evy Johanne
"Pilgrimage to a Greek Island Shrine,"
International Journal of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage:
2, Article 3.
Available at: https://arrow.tudublin.ie/ijrtp/vol9/iss2/3