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Epiphany Spectacularly Celebrated Across Greece

Epiphany, Theophania celebrated in Ermioni, Greece
Epiphany celebrations in Ermioni, Greece. Credit: Amna

Epiphany, also known as Theophania in Greek, one of the most important feasts of the Greek Orthodox Church, was celebrated across Greece on Saturday with a message of love and hope.

President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou visited Rethymnon, Crete for the occasion and addressed the local priesthood, regional officials, and people.

“Today, the celebration of the Baptism of Christ, eternally expresses the need for the spiritual rebirth of man, the path to the light of truth and solidarity,” she said. “I feel great joy to be on this festive day near our islanders, in a historic city of Crete, Rethymnon, cradle and crossroads of most Mediterranean civilizations.”

In Thessaloniki, Archbishop of Thessaloniki Theofilos (video below) blessed the water in the presence of city and regional officials and hundreds of people. The celebration was followed by the traditional diving to catch the Holy Cross.

On the island of Samos, Epiphany was celebrated with all the honors for the blessing of the water. This year, the divers who jumped into the sea to catch the Holy Cross sang the National Anthem while in the water.

In the Evros border town of Rizia next to the Evros River, the faithful waded in the water to catch the Holy Cross. Then they proudly raised the Greek flag in a symbolic gesture of patriotism. The River Evros on the border with Turkey is a passage of illegal immigrants to Greece.

Epiphany Celebration in Greece in the Midst of Diplomatic Talks

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis attended the Epiphany celebration in Chania, Crete. Later in the day he awaited a meeting with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. The meeting of the two officials took place early in the evening. Blinken flew directly from Ankara, where he had a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The grand issue discussed was the escalating war between Israel and the Hamas Palestinian organization that threatens to involve more powers in the struggle and expand to the rest of the Middle East.

Epiphany, Theophania celebrated in Ermioni, Greece
Credit: Amna

In addressing the Greek people, Mitsotakis said:

“On this bright and sunny day, the light of Epiphany sends a strong message of hope and progress. And as we are at the beginning of 2024, we have the right to look to the future with more optimism, with more confidence.”

“There is obviously no shortage of difficulties: from major geopolitical crises in our neighborhood to imported price raises on goods,” he said. “We will always be at the forefront in dealing with them.”

Nevertheless, Greeks flocked to their local churches to celebrate Epiphany and be blessed by Holy Water.

On Zakynthos in the town of Alykes, the cold and windy weather did not deter the faithful from attending Epiphany or the divers from following tradition.

On Syros, the capital of the Cyclades islands, Epiphany was celebrated with Metropolitan Dorotheos II and local officials. The fine weather drew many people to the Ermoupolis Port, and all traditions were followed as usual.


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