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Saturday, January 4, 2014

Race for the cross is on - Celebration of Holy Epiphany in Australian Cities

Blessing of the waters celebrated around Australia 

Epiphany, in Greek “Theophania” or “Fota,” is one of the most important days for the Orthodox world and it is celebrated in January 6.

 According to the Orthodox tradition, this day indicates the baptism of Jesus Christ by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. Traditionally, a priest throws a cross in the water and the men of the area jump in to catch it. The first man who catches the holy cross will gain good luck and the blessing of the priest.

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia has organized several events in Australian cities for the celebration of that holy day. In Mentone, the Greek Orthodox parish, in collaboration with the “Archangels” community, will celebrate Epiphany at 11:00am at Parkdale Pier. In Frankston, the blessings of the water will start at noon. The Greek Orthodox Parish of the area has also organized all day events. In Geelong, the celebration of the Holy Epiphany will start at 11:30am in Rippleside Park. In Rye, the celebrations held by the Holy Monastery of Panagia Kamariani will begin at 12:30pm.

 Blessed ...  Harrison Ginis, 16, holds the  silver cross he retrieved from Yarra Bay during the Greek Orthodox Church's epiphany celebrations yesterday. Tradition says it will grant his family a fortunate year.

In Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia, the celebrations will take place on Sunday January 12. Archbishop Stylianos will be leading the procession of the blessing of the waters at Yarra Bay Bicentennial Park at 1:oopm. In Adelaide, the ceremony will start at 12:15pm in the Pier of Glenelg, and finally, in Melbourne, the ceremony will be held in Princess Pier in Port Melbourne at noon.

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