On Sunday, January 7, the Canberra Greek community came together to celebrate Saint John’s feast day, in conjunction with Epiphany Day.
The day commenced with a special church service at Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Kingston, which was followed by the yearly tradition of the Blessing of the Waters, which took place at Casuarina Sands.
With beautiful warm weather and sunny skies, at 11.30am Father Petros commenced the service at Casuarina Sands.
This year, four young people participated in the dive for the Holy cross, including Johnny, James, Aristoteli and Nabil.
Johnny Frilingos, who was also celebrating his name day on the day, was thrilled to have successfully retrieved the Holy Cross.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Johnny told The Greek Herald on the day.
“I’ve dived for the cross before, but never in Canberra. This is my sixth year diving for the cross, and it’s the first time I’ve won it.”
The 18-year-old said he enjoyed celebrating Epiphany Day at Casuarina Sands.
“There was a great turnout today, and I’m here with all my family too which is really nice,” Johnny said.
“It’s so nice to see so many families come together and celebrate.
“I definitely encourage more people to come along and participate, especially the young boys as it’s a great way to connect with people in the community and it’s just a great experience.”
After the cross was thrown, and Johnny retrieved it, members of the community were invited to enjoy a lunch by the water. Souvlakia, salads, bread and light refreshments were made available for all to purchase.
The newly elected President of the Greek Orthodox Community of Canberra (GOCC), Pana Tsironis said just under 100 community members attended the event.
“I feel proud to celebrate this event with my community and honoured to be the President of their community,” Mr Tsironis said.
“While we always would like to celebrate this event with all our community members and encourage them to attend, we understand a number of our community members spend their time over the Christmas period with family and friends interstate, and a number of them attend the ceremony conducted at Batemans Bay.
“I would like to wish Χρόνια Πολλά to all the Greek Community locally and abroad.”
*All photos copyright The Greek Herald / Evelyn Karatzas.