Celebration of the Virgin Mary’s Assumption at the Samandag Church Foundation
Turkey’s only Armenian village, Samandağ Vakıflı Village hosted the celebration of the Assumption of Mary last sunday. At the end of the mass, the villagers brought their grapes to the church garden and prayed for the blessing of the whole year.
A great number of Christian citizens from abroad, from Istanbul, Ankara, Samandag, Antioch and Iskenderun attended the celebration. On the occasion of the festival, the local meals are cooked in the boilers and the “Hırisi” – a local dish- is distributed to the guests.
The celebration of the Feast of Ascension was led by the Patriarchal Vicar of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Turkey, Archbishop Aram Ateşyan. Father Avedis Tabaşyan gave a sermon on the significance and importance of the festival. Tabaşyan said “Mother Mary is one of the most sacred women in the history. Today we celebrate her assumption to the heaven. All the Armenian Churches have her images. We call her ‘the mother who gave us her son.”
After the mass, grapes were blessed and distributed to the guests.
On Saturday before the Feast day, a festival was held in the countryside, and a special concert was organized. The participants were excited by the folk songs sung by Şemsettin Dönmez.
Samadağ Mayor Mithat Nehir and Samandağ Women’s Solidarity Association President Hülya Nehir also attenden the celebrations and congratulated the Armenian residents. Antiochian Mayor’s Secretary General Prof. Dr. Mehmet Maden was also present. (İskenderun)