On the 6th of January of every year, the apparition of God is celebrated in Greece with the Feast of the Epiphany, the phenomenon, also called Theophanie or Fota.
Originally these terms are derived from ancient Greece. Homer has described in his hymns the appearance of the gods among men. These phenomena were accompanied by various circumstances: a light (Fos, plural Fota) and a fragrance spread before the god appeared in superhuman size. Zeus did this as a flash. After Homer's death as a theophany the act of a God in the sense of believers was also described. So when the war turned against the enemy or the harvest was good despite other expectations.
Even then, at the beginning of the year there were festivities in which the gods were celebrated. In Delfi, pictures of all the gods were presented to the public in a procession.
After the birth of Christ, however, this holiday was reorganized. While in some branches of the Christian Churches the appearance of the Holy three Kings is in the foreground on January 6, the Orthodox Church in its liturgy commemorates the baptism of Jesus Christ through John the Baptist in the river Jordan.
As already mentioned, every year on 6th January all over Greece the apparition of God is celebrated. But it does not necessarily have to be the sea. Other waters may be used also.
But now we live with the liturgy in Leptokarya:
Even before the beginning of the worship, the church is completely occupied. Many believers are standing in the corridors and listening to the ceremony from there. It would lead too far in this article to devote itself to the liturgy in detail. For this reason, interested people will find the complete text in German translation here. Look at the short video to see the climax of worship, the blessing of the cross, and the apparition of the Lord. Finally, the priest proclaims that because of the strong wind and the high waves, the blessing of the sea must take place from the shore this year. Usually, the clergy climbs a decorated boat, drives out a little and throws the blessed cross into the water.
After leaving the church, every believer takes a host. The Greek Orthodox Church used bread as a host, to which leaven is added. After their consumption, all follow the procession, which is led by the acolytes and the priest. From the church it goes down the road to the sea. Here are some young men waiting for the arrival of the procession. The air temperature is just above the freezing point, the water temperature is about 12 ° C, and an icy wind blows from the north.
After the last words are spoken, the clergyman takes a swing and throws the wooden cross high into the sea. This is the sign for the young men to fall into the surf and search for the cross. In order to find it better, a tape is attached to it. On days like this today, on troubled seas, this makes it easier to locate the coveted trophy. After seconds, it found one of the unfrozen and stretches it triumphantly. A young woman asks the bystanders who is the lucky one. "Jorgos again, as last year" is the answer.
The cross is handed over to the priest, who takes it upon himself and decorates it with an ostrich basil. The young men joke, dry themselves, and dress. Jorgos, the fastest of the squad, will be lucky all year. So at least one says. Let us give it to him, for he has bravely frozen for it. Maybe his luck could begin with avoiding a cold after his bath in January.