HomeNewsAustraliaEpiphany Day 2024: How did Greeks in Tasmania, Queensland and NSW celebrate

Epiphany Day 2024: How did Greeks in Tasmania, Queensland and NSW celebrate

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By Evelyn Karatzas and Andriana Simos.

Greek communities in Tasmania, Queensland, Wollongong, Batemans Bay and Jervis Bay, all enjoyed Epiphany Day celebrations over the January 6 – 7 weekend this year.

Batemans Bay

In Batemans Bay, a church service took place at the Greek Orthodox Church of Saint John the Baptist, combining the celebration of Epiphany Day and St John’s feast day.

Around 300 people later attended the Blessing of the Water ceremony, which was followed by a BBQ at the St John the Baptist church hall.

In attendance was Father Iakovos, Father Platon, Father Kyriacou, as well as Sid Pascalidis, President of Greek Orthodox Community of Batemans Bay, and the Ambassador of Greece to Australia, George Papacostas.

Epiphany Day at Batemans Bay
Father Iakovos.

Jervis Bay

In Jervis Bay, an Epiphany Feast Day took place at the Church of Saint John. Bishop Bartholomew of Charioupolis visited the NSW South Coast for the celebrations.

Bishop Bartholomew presided over a Matins and Divine Liturgy, and conducted the Blessing of the Waters at the church over the weekend.

Jervis Bay Epiphany Day
The divers who participated in the dive for the Holy Cross in Jervis Bay. Photo: Supplied.

This year’s winner of the Holy Cross was Nicolas Bris from the Parish-Community of Saint Ioannis in Parramatta, Sydney. He received blessings from Bishop Bartholomew, a cross to take home and an icon of Christ.

All divers also received Epiphany t-shirts with a logo commemorating the 100 years of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia (GOAA).

Wollongong

In Wollongong, NSW, 24-year-old Ross Tzotzis retrieved the Holy Cross after a traditional Blessing of the Waters ceremony was held at Wollongong beach on Sunday, January 7.

wollongong epiphany
Some of the divers from the Wollongong Blessing of the Waters ceremony. Photo copyright The Greek Herald / Andriana Simos.

In a statement to The Greek Herald, Ross said this was the second time he had retrieved the cross.

“It feels good,” he said. “I was a bit nervous on the jetty there, but I just got into the zone.”

He said he continues to partake in the religious occasion because “it is an important tradition and good luck for the year ahead.”

“It’s all part of the Greek heritage,” Ross added with a smile, before posing for a photograph with his family, including his proud grandparents.

wollongong epiphany
Ross (centre) with his family. Photo copyright The Greek Herald / Andriana Simos.

Tasmania

The annual Blessing of the Waters in Tasmania was held at Nutgrove Beach, Sandy Bay, Hobart, on Sunday, January 7.

theofania tasmania
theofania tasmania

Approximately 250 members of the Greek Community of Hobart and Launceston attended the celebration and this year’s successful participant in securing the Holy Cross was Yanni Anagnostis.

After the event, a BBQ lunch was prepared by the Executive Committee of the Greek Community of Tasmania, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

theofania tasmania

Queensland

In Queensland, the Epiphany Day celebrations took place in both West Queensland at Saint Anna Greek Orthodox Church, and Far North Queensland in Innisfail.

In the city of Bundall, the Divine Liturgy at Saint Anna was presided by Bishop Emilianos of Meloa and Father Romanos Stergiou.

Following this, a lunch and Epiphany Festival took place at Evandale Park in Surfers Paradise where members of the Greek community came together to celebrate.

QLD Epiphany Day
Photos: Cretan Association of Sydney and NSW Facebook page.

The Epiphany Day celebrations in Innisfail involved a full church service in the morning at The Dormition of our Lady, followed by the throwing of the Holy Cross.

Greek community member, Jacob won the cross for 2024.

Jacob and Father Stergiou
The winner of the Holy Cross, Jacob with Father Romanos Stergiou. Photo: The Greek Orthodox Community of Innisfail & North Queensland Facebook page.

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