Epiphany Celebrations in Greece: Unusual Controversies Emerge during Holy Cross Retrieval


On January 6, Greeks joyously celebrated Epiphany with customary leaps into cold waters to seize the Holy Cross, seeking blessings for the upcoming year. A designated priest tosses the Cross into seas, rivers, and lakes. However, in a small pond, why not? Especially if it's not too vast or deep.

In Trikala, central Greece, the ritual of retrieving the Cross from the icy Litheos River took an unexpected turn as young swimmers engaged in a scuffle, each vying for the sacred blessing. Reports from local media narrate an initial grab by one young man, followed by others attempting to wrest it away. The surprising altercation left not only onlookers shocked but also Bishop Avlonos, Christodoulos, who exclaimed over the loudspeaker, "They will kill each other now..."

Meanwhile, in the port of Mytilene on the island of Lesvos, scepticism arose among the crowd and media as a swimmer seemingly caught the Holy Cross before it touched the waters, prompting cries of "Staged!"

The swimmers eagerly awaited their turn to dive for the Cross, but suspicions grew as the priest appeared to hand it directly to one of the individuals before him instead of tossing it away. The ensuing viral video captured the "suspicious" incident. Watch it below

Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024