The 21st of November is the liturgical feast of the “Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary” like its called in the West or to name it in the eastern way the celebration of “The Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple”. One day before we helped in the school to prepare everything for the evening ceremony of the 20th of November. In general this religious event of the holy Mary is celebrated in Catholic and Orthodox Churches. Because the primary school of Vrontados is named after one church and this church especially celebrates this event with a big ceremony, the children are taking a big part in the celebration.
Back to us. The frame with a cross on the top was decorated with branches of the Mastics Trees and small bunches of flowers by some parents in school. In the morning all children brought colourful sprays with them. We could help to bind the flowers divided into the different colours together to monochromatic bunches. Afterwards they were put between the branches. The last step was to put the image of the icon in the now finished decorated frame.
In the evening the whole school met again on the school ground and was listening to the priests. Afterwards they made a festive parade to the church. On the street lay branches of the mastic tree. The children had some bunches of flowers and hand lanterns with them. The decorated icon was carried to the church. In the church everybody was listening to the ceremony. In the middle of the church stood the icon, in front of it was a table with candles and 5 holy breads lying on it.
Afterwards everybody met in a hall in front of the church to eat some sweets together and drink some coffee or tea.
We felt really integrated in the Greek culture. Also the people were not shy to speak to us. At the end we sat on one table with some seaman and talked a bit. It was a nice experience we don’t want to miss.
To see all the photos go into our gallery!