Calamos Supports Greece
GreekReporter.comGreek NewsGreece Celebrates Epiphany With the Blessing of Waters

Greece Celebrates Epiphany With the Blessing of Waters

Epiphany Greece
The blessing of waters also took place in the southern corner of Greece, on the island of Gavdos. Credit: Press Office of Greek PM

Greece and Hellenes around the world celebrated Epiphany on Friday, one of Christianity’s most important feasts.

In the Orthodox Christian tradition, to which the Greek Orthodox Church also belongs, the feast of Epiphany is associated with the baptism of Jesus Christ in the Jordan River.

Epiphany customs in Greece and Cyprus revolve around the Great Blessing of the Waters.
During these ceremonies, which are held on beaches, lakes, and rivers, a cross is thrown into the water by a Greek Orthodox priest, and then boys and men compete to retrieve it so that they may have good luck throughout the year.

Epiphany celebrated throughout Greece

In Athens, the blessing of waters took place at Dexameni Square, Kolonaki which is named after Hadrian’s Reservoir (reservoir translates to Dexameni in Greek) and is a popular hangout spot for locals.

Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos performed the ritual at Piraeus, the largest port of the country. Leader of the opposition Alexis Tsipras was also in attendance.

In Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city, the man who retrieved the cross told the media that he had been trying to do so since 1996, missing on only two occasions.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is visiting the island of Gavdos, Greece’s southernmost island, to attend the blessing of the waters ceremony. In a highly symbolic visit to an island whose sovereignty is challenged by Turkey, Mitsotakis said that “Greece does not accept suggestions on how to assert its sovereign rights.”

“We have proven that we are a peace force, but at the same time we are also a self-confidence force,” he asserted. “We know that based on International Law we can resolve any of our differences peacefully. We have also proven it by demarcating an Exclusive Economic Zone with Egypt and Italy.”

On Friday, President of the Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou visited the island of Lemnos for the celebration of Epiphany.

“This day brings the message of the victory of light against darkness,” she said. It is representative of the “light that modern man seeks to flood his heart with hope, especially in difficult times. Celebrating the Epiphany in the insular bastion of Hellenism in the Aegean, the island of Lemnos, I wish everyone enlightenment.”

In Istanbul, the celebration of Epiphany began on Friday morning in the garden of the Fener Greek Patriarchate. Kadıköy Metropolitan Emmanuel Adamakis conducted the service, and prayers were said at the ceremony, which started at 9 a.m. local time. Visitors lit candles and attended the mass prayer.

Patriarch Bartholomew I and those who attended the service proceeded to the Golden Horn coast, where Bartholomew threw a cross into the sea. Twenty people promptly jumped into the frigid waters to retrieve it.

Thanos Apostolakis, who said he came from the island of Crete, was the one who succeeded in grabbing the cross.

Greek Reporter was live from foggy Lake Pamvotida in Ioannina, Greece, where the Epiphany was also being celebrated.

See all the latest news from Greece and the world at Contact our newsroom to report an update or send your story, photos and videos. Follow GR on Google News and subscribe here to our daily email!

Related Posts