The event will take place at the Henley Beach foreshore in Adelaide and is expected to attract hundreds of visitors.
The Clergy with the parishioners and other guests, will commence the procession from the start of the jetty at 12pm. Together, they will walk to the end of the jetty, where the symbolic Blessing of the Waters will take place, and the faithful will dive into the waters to retrieve the cross.
Once the ceremony is over, visitors will be treated to a traditional Greek Festival which will include traditional dance performances, live music by the talented local band ‘Kerasma Live,’ and delicious food and desserts such as loukoumades (Greek honey puffs).
In the Orthodox Church, the Feast of Epiphany marks the baptism of Christ in the Jordan River by John the Baptist. It is the third and last holiday of the 12 days of Christmas and officially brings the holiday season to a close, sending a message of spiritual rejuvenation and inner cleansing.
In his message to GOCSA, the Premier of South Australia, Peter Malinauskas, stated: “On this special occasion, we celebrate the strength and unity of the spiritual ties that bind the Greek diaspora here in our great state and around the world.”
“The Blessing of the Waters ceremony combines the richness of ancient and contemporary Greek traditions and culture. The joyous celebrations that follow showcase the generous hospitality for which our Greek community has been so well known for generations,” Mr Malinauskas said.
GOCSA President, Peter Gardiakos, said: “The Church’s wish for divine enlightenment always remains relevant and timeless. It reminds us that nothing is taken for granted and that we all need to be united in our moral duty to defend the universal principles and values of humanity, solidarity, democracy, justice and peace.”
“The never-ending Light of Christianity is a light of love and inclusion without judgement. May the blessings of Epiphany inspire us to navigate the currents of life with faith and resilience,” Mr Gardiakos said.
GOCSA Cultural Committee Chair, Hellas Lucas, said: “The tradition of the Blessing of the Waters, or as we know it “Theofania” is such a beautiful event that all South Australians can look forward to. It’s a wonderful opportunity for the Greek community to showcase our culture, traditions, food and dance.”
“This year, in anticipation of a much larger event, we have added more marquees with undercover seating, more food, and more entertainment which is headed by a brilliant local band ’Kerasma Live’ who have put together a traditional Greek musical program for everyone to enjoy,” Ms Lucas said.