Pontian communities around Australia honour the feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos

This year’s ‘Dekapentavgousto’ celebrations by the Pontians of Australia took place over the weekend with splendour and a wonderful festive atmosphere.

A large number of participants joined in the festivities which ran over three days and were organised by the member associations of the Australian Federation of Pontian Associations in honour of the ‘Magalochari’, Soumela Panagia.

The festivities began on Friday, August 19 at the Central Pontian Association of Melbourne and Victoria “Pontiaki Estia” with an event named ‘Fagopoti,’ meaning ‘food and drink.’ The large number of young people who attended was impressive as they danced to traditional Pontian music well into the night.

The musicians were mainly Australian-born, among them George Sevastopoulos, Stefanos Levogiannis and Konstantine Kostidis on the Pontian lyra, Despina Levogiannis on the angeion, Michalis Vassiliou on the flute, Dimitris Tsombanopoulos and Yiannis Pilalidis on the daouli, as well as Κostas Pataridis who accompanied the group in song.

The highlight of the night was the performance by the small and intermediate dance groups of the association who presented traditional dances of Pontos.

On Saturday, August 21 attendees of the event held by the Pontian Association “Panagia Soumela,” were treated to a memorable night of dancing and entertainment with the unique voice and talent of Christos Xanthopoulos who sang and played the lyra. He was accompanied by Yiannis Gioskos, Christos Katsios and Kostas Xanthopoulos on the clarinet. Christos Xanthopoulos will be in Australia to take part in upcoming events organised by the association.

Event held by the Pontian Association “Panagia Soumela.”

Also on Saturday, the Pontian Brotherhood of ‘St George,’ Western Australia held their Ball with great success.

At the sell-out event, Perth’s Greek community was treated to a night of traditional dancing and live music by Pontian artists from Melbourne who performed for free in aid of the club.

The highlight of the evening was the performance of the association’s three children’s dance groups who appeared for the first time in new traditional costumes and sang in the Pontian dialect, “Soumela len tin Panagia,” to enthusiastic applause.

The festivities ended on Sunday, August 21, with the all-day festival ‘paniyiri’ at “Pontiaki Estia.” After the church service at the Greek Orthodox Parish of “Panagia Soumela” in East Keilor, where a copy of the original icon of Panagia Soumela is housed, the celebrations continued at the club’s premises with a rich music and dance program and a variety of delicious food.

After two years of restrictions on large gatherings, more than 70 dancers from six dance groups of Melbourne took the opportunity to meet and make new acquaintances while presenting traditional dances from various regions of Greece.

Thirteen musicians entertained the crowed and a live broadcast was transmitted on radio 3XY by the announces of the Pontian program “O Xeniteas,” Litsa Athanasiadis and Panos Stamatopoulos.

After three days filled with tradition, fun and unforgettable memories, the celebrations for this year’s Dormition of the Theotokos, Panagia Soumela, were concluded.

The Presidents and Committee Members of the Pontian Associations and the Federation (AFPA) send their warmest wishes to the members of our community and thank them for their ongoing support.


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