How Greeks around Australia can celebrate Epiphany in 2024

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Every year on January 6, Greek people around the world celebrate the day Jesus Christ was christened.         

Typically, a church service takes place in the morning, followed by the Blessing of the Waters ceremony where a priest throws the Holy Cross into the water and Orthodox faithful dive for it. Whoever grabs the Cross first receives good luck for the year.

If you’re interested in attending any of the events around Australia for Epiphany Day (also known as the Theophania), The Greek Herald has you sorted.

New South Wales

In NSW, several events are taking place.

At Carss Bush Park in Sydney, an Epiphany Greek Festival is taking place on Sunday, January 7 from 11am to 9pm.

This event will showcase more than 60 stalls selling a wide variety of Greek foods and products, including souvlakia, loukoumades, octopus, halloumi and more, and there will be plenty of entertainment for the kids including amusement rides, face painting, outdoor games and interactive activities.

epiphany-yarra-bay
Dimitri Glastras retrieved the Holy Cross at last year’s Blessing of the Waters ceremony at Yarra Bay.

There will also be plenty of live music featuring international Greek singer Stella Konitopoulou and her band from Greece, a bouzouki show from Tommy Tsonis featuring Theo Skaltsas on klarino, Nikita Ellenis will be performing, and dance groups in Sydney and surrounds will showcase traditional Greek dances.

At 1pm, the Blessing of the Waters service will also take place, presided over by Archbishop Makarios of Australia, and youth will be invited to participate and attempt to retrieve the Holy Cross from the waters.

Victoria 

In Victoria, the Blessing of the Waters will take place at the Promenade in Frankston from 12.30pm on Saturday, January 6. The service will be presided by Archbishop Makarios of Australia.

victoria epiphany
Crowds at last year’s Blessing of the Waters in Victoria.

The Epiphany will also be celebrated on Sunday, January 7 at Princes Pier in Port Melbourne. The throwing of the Holy Cross will be held as part of the Blessing of the Waters Festival.

Held from 12 to 6 pm, there will be plenty of entertainment for families and kids of all ages, as well as Greek food and market stalls.

Australian Capital Territory

In the ACT, a church liturgy will take place on Sunday, January 7 at Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church from 7:45 am to 10:30 am.

canberra-epiphany
Blessing of the Waters in Canberra last year.

To follow, the Blessing of the Waters will take place at 11:30 am at Casuarina Sands, where the youth will dive for the Holy Cross.

South Australia

In South Australia, the Greek Orthodox Community is hosting a 2023 Henley Beach Greek Festival which incorporates the Blessing of the Waters (at 12 pm) on Sunday, January 7. Taking place from 11 am, the Henley Beach Foreshore will have events running all day for its festival. From traditional Greek food, music, dancing and dance performances, this day will be jam-packed with plenty of entertainment for kids and their families.

At Glenelg, there will also be a Greek festival from Saturday, January 6 to Sunday, January 7. The Blessing of the Waters will commence on Sunday at Glenelg Jetty from 12.30pm.

Western Australia

In Western Australia,on Sunday, January 7, the Archdiocesan District of Perth is hosting a combined Epiphany celebration.  Held at Matilda Bay Reserve, there will be plenty of souvlakia and a sausage sizzle, Greek sweets and refreshments available throughout the day, as well as entertainment provided by a live Greek band.

At 12:30pm, Bishop Elpidios of Kynea will conduct the consecration of the waters and the immersion of the Holy Cross. Children over the ages of 15 and adults will then be welcome to participate in the diving of the cross. They must be capable of swimming 300 metres.

Queensland

In Queensland, on Sunday, January 7, the Church of Saint Anna at Bundall Road on the Gold Coast will be holding the official Consecration of the waters and Diving for the Holy Cross event. Following this, a Lunch and the Epiphany Festival will take place at Evandale Park in Surfers Paradise.

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