The celebration of St. Mavra and St. Timothy will take place over the weekend of the 13th and 14th July, and as always it will a great ‘panagiri’ in their honour.
Here in Zakynthos, in the village of Macherado the celebration is known as the ‘panagiri tis Agias Mavras’ meaning the celebration of Saint Mavra. Although both Saints are the protectors of the village, it is Saint Mavra who is special due to her icon. She has an important stance here in Zakynthos and there has been many witnesses speaking of miracles from this Saint. Many still talk about how a woman was thrown into a well near the church, left to drown but the woman survived and told her story of how Saint Mavra had held her up by the woman’s hair until someone came to rescue her. Other stories involve people who have tried to take valuables from the church but have met their justice. The latest story being in 2015, that we heard thieves had raided the church but somehow their car crashed nearby and were caught red handed with the objects taken from our St. Mavra.
Saint Mavra celebrations take place in the village of Macherado which is the second largest village after Katastari in the plains. At the entrance of the village you will see a spectacular bell tower of the namesake church Saint Mavra. The church is the second most significant on our Island and it is said that when the bells strike they can be heard throughout the Island. According to tradition the icon of Saint Mavra was discovered by a shepherd from the village of Lagopodo, hanging on a fence. He unsuccessfully tried three times to take it back to his village, however each time the icon mysteriously returned back to its original place where it was first discovered. They say that this is where the icon wanted to stay and a church built for it to be placed in. The church itself with its venetian style bell tower is adorned with beautiful carvings and icons and a must to see for any visitor. The church always celebrates on May the 3rd of each year and would probably be the second biggest celebration, Saint Dionysios being the first. Traditional dance song and food you will always find at the ‘Panagiri tis Agias Mavras’.
Early in the afternoon an announcement of celebrations with traditional musical instruments.
08.00p.m Church services begin
11.30p.m preparation of the icon St. Mavra for the Litany.
02.00a.m Sunday, Litany of the icon around the streets of Macherado, including marching band and a firework display.
03.00a.m the icon will return to the church.
08.00 am Morning church services begin performed by the Archbishop of Zakynthos.
20.30p.m “Glendi” traditional Zakynthian celebrations include song, music, dance and an opportunity to try Zakynthian local dishes of the day.