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Ysternia, Festival of the Virgin Mary

EVENT INFO

As Sunday morning dawns, Mass commences, accompanied by the aroma of simmering delicacies. The women finalize the array of appetizers and soup, meticulously portioning the tender meat and setting the tables in anticipation of the congregation.

Start Date: 21 April 2024
End Date: 21 April 2024
Greece that commemorate festival of her birth with the sea in the background

EVENT INFO

As Sunday morning dawns, Mass commences, accompanied by the aroma of simmering delicacies. The women finalize the array of appetizers and soup, meticulously portioning the tender meat and setting the tables in anticipation of the congregation.
Start Date: 21 April 2024
End Date: 21 April 2024

The village of Ysternia is located at Exo Meria on Tinos, the island’s most fertile region. It is built amphitheatrically on the Meroviglia slope, with a panoramic view of the Aegean and the island of Syros. Marble sculpture has a leading role here since it is the second most important marble-working center in Tinos after the historic village of Pyrgos. Climbing to the village summit along marble-lined streets and passing under the impressive arches, the houses of Ystrernia village leave a strong impression due to their elaborate marble lintels and the colours used on their doors: pastel shades of blue, gray, olive, and aubergine.

The church stands proudly at the village’s entrance, setting the stage for the celebration of the Virgin Mary. Commencing on Saturday afternoon, villagers gather in their homes, exchanging offerings from neighbour to neighbour before collectively bringing them to the church. Vespers ensue, marking the beginning of the village women’s meticulous preparations for the following day’s festivities. They diligently cleanse the surroundings and kitchen, meticulously wash traditional crockery, and simmer meat in vast cauldrons for the beloved egg-lemon soup.

As Sunday morning dawns, Mass commences, accompanied by the aroma of simmering delicacies. The women finalize the array of appetizers and soup, meticulously portioning the tender meat and setting the tables in anticipation of the congregation. Post-Mass, the procession of the revered icon proceeds, imbuing the air with reverence and tradition.

Following the solemnity, a communal meal unfolds, welcoming both locals and visitors to partake in the island’s cherished customs. The jubilant strains of violins signal the commencement of traditional festivities. Upon conclusion of the feast, attendees partake in “Rodaria,” adorning their forks with flowers, sweets, or gifts to offer to cherished individuals, thus perpetuating this time-honored custom.

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