January 6, 2019

A White Christmas for Mount Athos (photos and videos)

Today is Christmas Eve in Mount Athos, and a few days ago it was hit by a heavy snowstorm, covering it with a thick layer of snow. This has caused serious problems for both the monks and the pilgrims to the Holy Mountain.

As of today, it was 37°F (3°C). In the capital of Karyes (altitude 350m) the snow reached 70cm (27.5 inches), while at slightly higher altitudes it exceeded 1.30cm (51 inches).

The entire road network is closed, but they are working hard to restore road traffic. The ships from Ouranoupolis to Dafni and other Monasteries are normally executed.

Pilgrims have been shut inside monasteries and sketes until there is further clean up. Sunday night, Christmas Eve, more snow is expected.

In the evening there will be a vigil in all the Monasteries, the Sketes and in many Cells. In the Holy Monastery of Simonopetra, Christmas takes on a special festal character since the katholikon of the monastery is dedicated to the Birth of the Savior.

The two videos below were taken in Karyes (top) and Dionysiou Monastery (bottom).