Greek Orthodox Church - photo by Heather Hurd, October 2007
If you know me, you know that I’m not religious. I don’t consider myself to be spiritually inclined. And yet… there is something about Orthodox imagery that speaks to me. In Greece, I bought religious icons because they had meaning for me beyond their religious purpose.
That’s why, when I walked into the chapel at the Greek Festival in Annapolis, MD, I knew I’d be coming home with a picture of the beautiful artwork on the ceiling. The vibrant colors, the stylized depictions of Christ and the saints… it all speaks to something deeper in me. It stirs the same sparks that drove me to become an art history major. It answers a basic need to behold beauty.
This breathtaking church is the center of a yearly celebration of Greek food, culture, religion, and music. The festival pulses with life and joy, and the people there give you a taste of what it’s like to belong utterly and fully to something outside your circle. Stepping into a festival like this, if only for a moment, you become part of the family. You are welcomed, you are loved.
Festivals like this, which we attend every year, are a fantastic way to be introduced to authentic culture. These festivals support local businesses and agriculture, and give community groups a chance to shine.
The next time you pass a festival, stop in. You never know what might speak to your heart and soul.
This post has been entered into the Grantourismo and HomeAway Holiday-Rentals travel blogging competition.
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