Seasons Of Sun's Blog

The peak of the summer – August 23rd – Vassara’s panayiri festival!

We begin this special day with quick ride or walk across the mountain to a grotto church named Panayias Sto Vraho ( Virgin Mary of the Rock ).  Then, it is a steep climb up many stairs. (Forget the morning excercise – this is it!) The view up top is amazing as you overlook the village across the way.  Now we have reached the top. This cave-like church dates back to the time of the Turkish invasion of Greece, where it was used to educate Greek children in secret at night in order to preserve the Greek language and culture. Today, this is a beloved church, a place where the entire village comes to worship the morning of August 23rd.  Xronnia Polla (Many Years) to all those named Maria, Mary, Panayioti (Peter)!

The village is PACKED with visitors on this feast day. Relatives, friends and…

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As described in Seasons of Sun’s Chapter 5, “Off to Church,” this photo represents the REAL day of the Holy Transfiguration – circa 1985, when we travelled to the tiny church of Agio Sotiro to celebrate an important feast day in Vassara, and all of Greece. Aug. 6th is the feast day of the Holy Transfiguration, and everyone goes to church once the bells of St. George ring aloud, waking us all up!  To get there, my uncle Katz tied his kitchen chairs with rope to the back of his pick up. Not at ALL an embarrassing situation for an American teenager who just wanted to look cool!  Here’s a pic from that funny morning.


And here’s another of the same feast day, 3 years ago, with my kids, revisiting the tiny church again of Agio Sotiro to celebrate the day.


How I with to be there this morning, celebrating with you all! As we say in Greek, ‘kai tou xronou!” (here’s to next year!)