Epiphany (January 6)
This day, takes on a special
meaning in Greece. Here, there is a special ceremony of blessing the waters
and of the vessels that ply them. The modern observance at Piraeus, the
ancient port of
Athens, takes the form of a priest hurling a large crucifix
into the waters.
Young men brave the cold and compete to retrieve it. These
days, the cross is generally attached to a nice, safe long chain, just in
case that year's crop of divers is something less than desired.
diving, local fishermen bring their boats to be blessed by the
What does all this have to do with Christmas? Orthodox belief says
that it was the day of the baptism of Jesus, and that this is where the day's
association with water arises.