Peak summer season on Saturday with annual religious holiday

Aug. 15 holiday leaves cities empty as vacationers head for the islands and provinces

The annual Feast of the Dormition (or Assumption) on Aug. 15 is the most celebrated summer religious commemoration in Greece and also marks the peak of the holiday season.
Cities empty and even the least economically able urban dwellers try to steal a few days for a mid-August vacation.
The holiday on Greek Orthodox calendar celebrates what the devout believe was the Virgin Mary’s ascent to Heaven (Koimisis tis Theotokou).
While most churches around Greece will hold a religious service, many parishes , villages and municipalities hold annual festivals in commemoration.
The epicenter for the religious holiday is the Cyclades island of Tinos, where thousands of faithful flock. In northern Greece, the Panaghia Soumela monastery at the foot of Mt. Vermio, in Pella prefecture, also attracts thousands of worshipers, especially people descended from the Pontus region on the southeastern portion of the Black Sea.