September 2015: The Messini Fair
Held with great success from the 21st to the 27th of September, the Messini Fair is one of the oldest and most popular events in the Peloponnese. It is a unique religious and cultural ceremony that is repeated every September from 1839 on.
The festivities begin with the ritual reception of the icon of Virgin Mary of Voulkano into the church of Agia Paraskevi. After that, a litany is conducted on the main streets of the city and the sacred icon returns to the monastery of Voulkano for an eight-day open worship. This tradition goes back to the 17th century, when a terrible epidemic hit the entire region and the monks responded to the locals’ request to tour the sacred icon through the suffering villages. A miracle happened and wherever the image went, the epidemic was cured. Ever since, the litany of the miraculous icon of Virgin Mary has been established as an annual tradition in Messini and in all nearby villages suffering from the disease.
During the fair, the region is full of vitality. Besides the religious worship, people have the opportunity to carry out profitable financial transactions. On the main square of Messini and the streets surrounding the church, local merchants exhibit their products, organize book exhibitions in the open air or promote the area’s traditional products. The participating crowd partakes in the religious fest, enjoys shopping and relaxes.
TRAINOSE improved the train schedule for this destination in order to assist the local community and facilitate the participation of visitors at the fair.