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Greeks celebrate Epiphany in orthodox and unorthodox ways (videos)

Greeks celebrated the Epiphany on January 6 with the suitable glory and the tradition dictating that people jump in the cold water to catch the Holy Cross and be blessed for the rest of the year.

It is a custom that assigned priest throws the Cross into the sea, in rivers and in lakes. But in a small pond? Yes, why not, especially if it’s not very big and very deep…

In Trikala, central Greece, catching the Cross from the icy waters of Litheos river ended up in a fight among the young swimmers who struggling to be blessed.

According to local media, a young man initially grabbed the Cross, but others fell on him to take it away. Stunned was not only the gathered public but also Bishop Avlonos, Christodoulos, who said through the loudspeaker: “They will kill each other now…”


Meanwhile in the port of Mytilini on the island of Lesvos, the crowd and the media shouted “Staged!” when one of the swimmers caught the Holy Cross as the priest was throwing it into the sea and before it touched the waters.

The swimmers waited anxiously to dive in to catch the Holy Cross. However, it seems that the outcome was already decided in advance. The video below shows how
the priest does not throw the Cross away, as usual, but he appears to actually hand it to one of the young men in front of him. One of the swimmers first catches the Cross and then jumps into the sea. The video of the “suspicious” incident went viral.

Video: after 0:56 min

As we say in Greek on January 6th: “Καλή Φώτιση!” – Good Enlightenment! – through the Holy Spirit probably implying also without cheating or violence 🙂

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