Greeks have fun Epiphany with blessings of the water after 2 years of COVID restrictions

Greeks celebrated Epiphany Friday with blessing of the waters ceremonies throughout the nation.

The vacation is named Three Kings Day for Catholics and the Baptism of Christ for the Orthodox. Greece is predominantly Orthodox.

Unseasonably heat climate helped deliver out the crowds for the out of doors celebrations, with swimmers competing in opposition to one another to know a floating cross thrown by clergymen into seas, rivers or lakes. Retrieving the cross is believed to confer particular blessing upon the one who retrieves it.

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In 2021, celebrations had been severely affected by the restrictions imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic; final 12 months, celebrations had been canceled or scaled again in lots of elements of Greece because the nation struggled with an enormous surge in COVID-19 infections.

A woman kisses the cross during an Epiphany ceremony at a suburb in Piraeus port, near Athens, Greece, on Jan. 6, 2023. 

A girl kisses the cross throughout an Epiphany ceremony at a suburb in Piraeus port, close to Athens, Greece, on Jan. 6, 2023.  (AP Picture/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Within the port of Piraeus, a cross is historically thrown thrice, to accommodate the throngs of swimmers.

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In Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest metropolis, the person who retrieved the cross advised media that he had been making an attempt to take action since 1996, lacking solely two events.

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