On the 23rd of July, the Greek Orthodox Church and Tinos celebrates the feast day of Agia Pelagia. It is an important feast where the icon is taken to the Monastery of Kehrovouniou. Visitors and nuns arrive to honor the icon before it is back to the church where it was found.
The vision of Agia Pelagia, which was the pretext for the discovery of the Holy Icon of Virgin Mary (Panagia), is celebrated annually, on 23 July.
In July 1823, in the midst of the Revolution, Agia Pelagia, a seventy-year old nun at the Monastery of Kekchrovouni, while asleep, saw Virgin Mary (Panagia) twice, to indicate where the Holy Icon was buried and to motivate her to initiate investigations. Pelagia, scared and skeptical about the games that mind is often playing, did not reveal her dream.
On 23 July 1823, when Pelagia envisioned Panagia for the third time, she announced the message to the abbot, to Stamatellos Kagkadi and to the Bishop of the island, Gabriel. The excavations then started would lead to the Find of the miraculous Icon on January 30th, 1824.
On the morning of July 23, after the end of the celebrating service, held in the Church of Annunciation (Evagelistrias), priests and many faithful people accompany the Icon to Liberty Square (Eleftherias), where a procession of cars transfers the Icon to the Monastery of Kechrovouni.
After the service at the church of St. Pelagia, the old women of the convent treat their guests with coffee, loukoumades, Tinian raki, traditional sweets, and then lunch.
After vespers at 7 pm, the descent to Chora (8km, on foot) starts: The Holy Icon in the hands of the monks ahead and the crowd, consisting of both locals and visitors, who enjoy the two-hour hike in the summer Tinian scenery, full of colours and chants while chapels “greet” the procession with their bells.
About half the route at “Derafia”, the procession stops for a while and prayers are chanted.
Shortly before 9 pm, the procession arrives at Agia Paraskevi, at the entrance of the city, where a large crowd of people welcome and greet The Icon.
The procession heads towards the beach and the festival culminates on the marble platform at the quay where amid fireworks and firecrackers, the bishop and priests are chanting prayers.
Tinos Philharmonic accompanies the sacred procession from Agia Paraskevi to the Platform on the quay, and from there back home to the Church of Annunciation (Panagia).
Today is also the name day of Pelagia, Pelagios.