Athens, June 2018

Athens, June 2018
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.
After the diving, local fishermen bring their boats to be blessed by the priest.
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.

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