Blessing of the Waters ceremony held at Carss Park in Sydney for first time

·

Despite the heat, thousands turned up at Carss Bush Park in Sydney’s south on Sunday, January 7 to witness as the Blessing of the Waters ceremony took place in the Georges River for the first time.

The ceremony was organised at Carss Park by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia (GOAA) instead of Yarra Bay this year – a move which broke with decades of tradition and received mixed reactions on Sunday.

Archbishop Makarios of Australia presided over the Blessing of the Waters ceremony as dozens young males attempted to retrieve the Holy Cross from the river. Low tides made the dive difficult, with some left feeling disappointed.

Nevertheless, a worthy victor was crowned – Michael Solidakis, a parishioner from the Greek Orthodox Parish and Community of Kogarah. All the dive participants congratulated Mr Solidakis on his victory and wished him good luck for the year ahead. He was also awarded a gold cross by the Archbishop.

epiphany festival carss park (8)
epiphany festival carss park (6)
Photo copyright The Greek Herald / Andriana Simos.

Following the Blessing of the Waters ceremony, Archbishop Makarios addressed the crowd and spoke about the importance of renewal in the New Year.

“As we reflect on the past year, we reflect on the highs and the lows, the pain and triumphs, the struggles and the consolations. And as we look to the future, we make new resolutions for the year ahead. We set goals and consider how we will achieve them,” the Archbishop said.

“As you make your new year resolution, I encourage you to make this your primary resolution, ‘to renew your commitment to Christ’.”

epiphany greek festival carss park
Archbishop Makarios addressing the crowd. Photo: ID Productions.
Epiphany Festival carss park
Officials. Photo: Facebook / Sophie Cotsis MP.

The Epiphany Greek Festival followed the Blessing of the Waters ceremony. The event included a rich traditional music and dance program, as well as over 60 stalls offering a wide array of traditional Greek food, sweets, products and services. There were also rides and activities for children.

epiphany festival carss park (8)
Photo copyright The Greek Herald / Andriana Simos.
epiphany festival carss park (8)
Photo copyright The Greek Herald / Andriana Simos.

In terms of entertainment, the day featured a live performance from Greek singer Stella Konitopoulou and her band direct from Greece, music by Tommy Tsonis on bouzouki, Theo Skaltas on klarino, and Nikita Ellenis.

A number of dance groups from across Sydney also performed traditional Greek dances throughout the day.

epiphany festival carss park (8)
Photo: Facebook.
epiphany festival carss park (8)
Photo: Facebook.
epiphany festival carss park (8)
Photo: Facebook.
epiphany festival carss park (8)
Photo supplied.

Among the dignitaries present were the Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Yannis Mallikourtis; the Deputy Head of Mission at the Cyprus High Commission, Stavros Nicolaou; Bishop Iakovos of Miletoupolis; Bishop Christodoulos of Magnesia; the NSW Minister for Multiculturalism, Steve Kamper MP; the NSW Minister for Industrial Relations, Sophie Cotsis MP; the NSW Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Natalie Ward MLC; the Mayor of Georges River Council, Cr. Sam Elmir; and the President of the Greek Festival of Sydney, Nia Karteris.

Advertisement

Share:

KEEP UP TO DATE WITH TGH

By subscribing you accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Advertisement

Latest News

Johnny Koutroumbis signs with Scotland’s Motherwell FC

Australian defender Johnny Koutroumbis has signed a two-year deal with Scottish Premiership side Motherwell.

Hellenic Club of Sydney venues under new management as Adgemis’ embattled pub group exits

Operations at the Hellenic Club of Sydney's venues will be taken over by Con Dedes as Jon Adgemis' embattled Public Hospitality Group exits.

NSW budget to deliver 30,000 new homes, promising historic investment in social housing

The NSW government will make the largest single investment in social housing in the state's history as part of the 2024-35 budget. 

Nick Kyrgios and mother recall terror of gunpoint Tesla robbery

Tennis star Nick Kyrgios and his mother have told a court of their anger and fear after a killer pointed a gun at his...

Ivan Javanovic to take the helm of Greece’s national football team

Serbian soccer coach, Ivan Jovanovic is set to take the helm of Greece’s national team after reaching an agreement with the Hellenic Soccer Federation. According...

You May Also Like

SA filmmakers Danny and Michael Philippou named recipients of the Talent Gateway initiative

Danny and Michael Philippou, have been named as the recipients of Talent Gateway and the Global Producers Exchange 2022.

Teenager charged with murder of Melbourne father Paul Grapsas

An 18-year-old man has been charged with the murder of Geelong father-of-two Paul Grapsas. Read more today.

Volunteer programme for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 launched in Melbourne

The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Volunteer Programme was officially launched on Wednesday, November 9 in Melbourne, Victoria.