Melbourne’s Greeks showed up in droves to participate in Theofania (Epiphany) celebrations across the city’s piers, commemorating on January 6 the day of the revelation of God, the final major feast of the Christmas holiday.
Benefiting from the warm weather and this year’s religious observance falling on a Sunday, the Blessing of the Waters ceremonies with the highlight cross dive had an even more impressive than usual turnout.
As always, the combined celebration for all Parishes celebrated by Bishop Ezekiel of Dervis and Bishop Iakovos of Miletoupolis together with all the Clergy of Melbourne was held in Port Melbourne.
(Nikos Hatzidimitriou took the winning dive in Port Melbourne’s Princess Pier. Photos: Mary Sinanidis)
Adding to the significance of the celebration is the fact that it takes place in the same area where thousands of Greek migrants walked their first steps in Australia during the mass migration periods of the 1950s and 1960s.
Community members and representatives as well as political leaders – including MP Martin Foley, representing the state government and Victorian Liberal leader Michael O’ Brien – congregated at Princess Pier for the annual rituals commemorating the baptism of Jesus Christ by St John the Baptist.
More than 20 people dived into the crisp waters to retrieve the wooden cross tossed by Bishop Ezekiel.
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