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Archive for January 6th, 2019

Cross

The brave people who will jump in the sea and lakes all over Greece will be cold today. Today is the day of the cross. The official name is Epiphany (also called Theofania or Fota)  People with these names celebrate their name days today: Fotis, Fanny, Fotinie.

Today many people celebrate the baptism of Jesus Christ by John the Baptist. Tomorrow is the nameday of John.

The most important ritual is the “blessing of the waters”, which is performed by the Greek Orthodox priest. There is also the ritual of the priest throwing a cross into the water. This ritual usually starts after the church service. Usually this is after 11 o’clock. On Skopelos all priest come down with a part of the congregation and walk to the small wooden dock that is placed on the harbor quay. The rest of the villagers are already waiting on the quay. After the water is blessed by the priests the cross is thrown in the water (it is attached with a cord) and swimmers jump in the water to catch it. It is believed that the person who captures the cross first and returns it to the priest will be blessed for the whole year.

From Astra Skopelos/Sporades tv
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