Hi All! Greek Easter is over, the spring is here, and I am looking forward to the summer already. I’ve filled my balcony with springtime flowers and, like my cats, Loulou and Sissi, I’m taking advantage of the warm weather by getting as much sunshine as I can every day. Today, I am sharing the legend of St George, and also a peculiarity around the date He can be celebrated at times in the Orthodox church. At the bottom of the post, you’ll find the link to my latest newsletter that’s packed with freebies! Enjoy 🙂
“St George wants a red egg!”
That’s what my Corfiot grandmother used to say whenever I asked her why St George’s Day is late in any given year. As you may know, St George’s Day is celebrated on April 23rd, but in Greece this is not always the case. The reason for that is because in the Orthodox faith, the hymn used to honour Him in church, mentions Christ’s Ressurection. Therefore, it is not possible to honour the saint unless Greek Easter has come and gone. So, if Easter is later than April 23rd, St George is celebrated on Easter Monday.
This was the case again this year. I took this photo on Easter Monday in the main street of my little town of Nea Peramos in west Attica. After the mass, a procession took place to honour St George. The icon was accompanied by a brass band, the priest and town officials, boy and girl scouts, and other youngsters dressed in traditional Minor Asia costumes.
The town of Nea Peramos (‘New’ Peramos) was founded by refugees from Peramos in Asia Minor, who had brought with them an ancient icon of St George – their patron saint. The icon you see in these photos is not it; this is a contemporary one used to worship Him in the town’s church (St George’s church, naturally). The old icon is kept safe in the church as it’s so precious.
St George has always cast his protective gaze over Nea Peramos and its people. The locals speak of sounds of His horse clip-clopping all around town at night. They say the saint was patrolling around town on his horse every night all through WWII, and they believe this is why not one of the people of Nea Peramos lost their life during the war.
As you may know, St George was from Cappadocia, an area now in Turkey that used to be Greek. Legend has it that there was a dragon in Libya that guarded a water spring. Every now and then, people had to pick one of the locals in random to offer for sacrifice so that they could get water from the spring.
When the princess of the land was picked to be sacrificed next, St George, a young officer of the Roman army, arrived on his horse, saved the princess and slayed the dragon with his spear.
Legend or fact? Either way, I am sure you will agree that it makes for a very charming story!
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