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Epiphany celebrated throughout Greece with traditional 'Blessing of the Waters'

Δημοσίευση 7 Ιανουαρίου 2011, 13:56 / Ανανεώθηκε 27 Ιουνίου 2013, 14:55
Epiphany celebrated throughout Greece with traditional 'Blessing of the Waters'
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The religious feast of the Epiphany -- the Twelfth Day after Christmas -- was celebrated throughout Greece on Thursday with the traditional "Blessing of the Waters" Orthodox Church rite in ports, rivers, lakes, reservoirs and fountains in front of cathedrals. The ritual commemorates Christ's baptism in the River Jordan, termed the Epiphany by St. John Chryssostom (from the Greek word for 'manifestation', 'epifaniea').

The religious feast of the Epiphany -- the Twelfth Day after Christmas -- was celebrated throughout Greece on Thursday with the traditional "Blessing of the Waters" Orthodox Church rite in ports, rivers, lakes, reservoirs and fountains in front of cathedrals. The ritual commemorates Christ's baptism in the River Jordan, termed the Epiphany by St. John Chryssostom (from the Greek word for 'manifestation', 'epifaniea').

In Athens, the ceremony was held at the Kolonaki reservoir, attended by new Athens mayor George Kaminis and MPs from various parties, and government vice-president representing the government. The ceremony in Thessaloniki, officiated by Metropolitan Anthimos, was attended by the new mayor Yiannis Boutaris and political party representatives, with the government represented by national defence minister Evangelos Venizelos.

In Piraeus, Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece officiated at the ceremony in the country's largest port. The government was represented by Maritime Affairs, Islands and Fishing minister Yiannis Diamantidis, and was also attended by main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras, Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.OS) party leader George Karatzaferis, numerous officials, and political party MPs.

Epiphany, the coming of the light, means that the darkness leaves and optimism comes, Samaras said, adding that this was his wish for the Greek people in these difficult hours, and chiefly for the country.

Karatzaferis wished that the blessing of the waters of the Aegean will reach all the way to Erzurum (in Turkey, where Prime Minister George Papandreou will attend a conference of Turkish ambassadors by special invitation) on Friday), and that the Greeks will not find themselves before faits accomplis in the Aegean.

Diamantidis, in turn said that the baptism of Christ and manifestation of the Holy Trinity was being celebrated, and the world was brought into the light, and sent the message that "with a plan, with enlightenment, vision and optimism, we are moving forward strongly".

 

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