Greece celebrated the Epiphany over the weekend with Blessing of the Waters ceremonies across the country.
According to Ekathimerini, the good weather drew large crowds to the outdoor ceremonies. People witnessed as swimmers dived into seas, rivers or lakes to retrieve the Holy Cross thrown by Greek Orthodox priests.
In the Greek port of Piraeus, a cross is traditionally thrown three times, to accommodate the throngs of swimmers. Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece was unable to attend this year’s event due to testing positive for COVID-19.
Elsewhere, in Chania on the Greek island of Crete, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis attended the Blessing of the Waters ceremony.
In a speech, Mitsotakis said that “at the dawn of 2024 we have the right to look to the future with more optimism, with more confidence.”
Acknowledging the geopolitical difficulties and inflation, the Prime Minister added that “we will continue to fight for a better everyday life for all Greek women and for all Greek men.”