Yesterday we found our way to “The Miracle of Saint Mary” in a neighborhood not far from where we are staying. This phenomenon is tucked away and only famous to the locals. There is a picture of Saint Mary which produces oil. It produces so much in fact that it seeps thru the wall to the other side. It leaves a place for cotton to be laid, soaked and sold to the people for blessings. A small group of Christians, Muslims and Alawis come to pray there every Saturday.
Later – we went to Samandağ to witness the celebration of Hizir. There the people walk in the temple, kiss the stones and write wishes onto small pieces of paper that they then throw – without looking – into the sea which is only a few feet away. I was told that you should not watch your paper – turn your back and don’t look back. Although the ritual was fairly casual, the people were still in a festive mood – chatting, sharing cookies and enjoying the sea. The moon was full and you could see the beautiful mountains in the distant – and even further – the lights from Syria.
I am a graduate student in history/anthropology. I have a deep love for all things ancient and religious and would spend all my time wandering dusty old tombs and castles if they would fund me. I am currently in Hatay, Turkey working, researching and just enjoying the summer. ... full info