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Greek Islanders Climb the 'Zig-Zag Path' on Aug. 15 Feast Day

Folegandros is a small, quiet Greek island that remains virtually unknown to tourists.
However, for Greeks, this island is steeped in the legend of the Virgin Mary. It is the scene of celebration on one of the most important Greek Orthodox holidays, the Dormition of the Virgin Mary.
The main village on the island, Hora, is lined with narrow cobblestone streets throughout.
Soaring high above the village, following a 15-minute walk up a zigzag pathway starting at Pounta Square, you will find yourself at the Church of Panagia, or Virgin Mary.
Locals celebrate the Festival of Panagia on Aug. 15 at the church dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
The Church of Panagia is thought to be built on the site of an ancient temple and although the original date of the construction of the church is unknown, it was renovated back in 1687 and again in 1821.
Inside the church you will see the revered silver icon of the Virgin Mary, believed to be able to perform miracles.
Locals on Folegandros revere the Virgin Mary and consider Assumption Day to be a time of great importance and celebration of Christ’s mother.
According to the legend of the island, in 1790, a fleet of 18 boats pirated by Algerians was about to land on the shores of the island and the locals went to the church to pray for help and protection from the invaders.
Just as they were praying to the Virgin Mary, the story goes that a strong northern wind blew around the island and sank the Algerian boats off the coast, drowning all of the pirates.
The locals revere the Virgin Mary as the protector of the island. The Dormition of the Virgin Mary, along with Easter, when locals carry the icon of the Virgin Mary from the church to all the homes on the island, are considered to be two important festivals that take place annually on the island.

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