Dekapentavgoustos

15 Aug

Today, August 15, is Dekapentavgoustos, the Assumption of Mary or the Dormition of the Theotokos.  Most Protestants don’t celebrate it, but this is the third most important religious holiday, after Easter and Christmas, in Greek Orthodoxy.  It celebrates the day the Panagia — the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus — was bodily taken up to heaven.  According to Greek Orthodox beliefs, Mary died a natural death and her soul was received by Christ when she passed away.  Three days after her bodily death, her body was resurrected and taken up to heaven.

To commemorate this, Greek Orthodox believers fast for the two weeks leading up to August 15.  This is called the Dormition Fast.  The first day of the fast, August 1, is called Procession of the Cross.

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