Observed on January 6th, the Epiphany celebration remembers the three miracles that manifest the divinity of Christ. The name “Epiphany” comes from the Greek word Epiphania, and means “to show, make known, or reveal.” The celebration originated in the Eastern Church in AD 361, beginning as a commemoration of the birth of Christ. Later, additional meanings were added – the visit of the three Magi, Christ’s baptism in the Jordan River, and his first miracle at the wedding in Cana. These three events are central to the definition of Epiphany, and its meaning is drawn from these occurrences.
Every year in Tarpon Springs, at St. Nicolas’ church, there is the biggest celebration within the States of throwing the cross and blessing the waters. For m ore information about the icon and historical/spiritual meaning of the epiphany, please check out the GOARCH website.
Below are pictures from this year’s celebration, enjoy!
They actually had to throw 2 crosses this year because the first one was unable to be found after about 10 minutes of searching in the cold water. But after the second toss, and maybe help from the manatees swimming nearby, they found it within seconds. The lucky boy to find the cross is blessed this year and will receive a cross necklace to remember the event of Christ’s birth and will most likely also receive gifts from his family.
If you are ever able to travel to Tarpon Springs on January 6th, you won’t regret it. Beginning with a church service from 8-12, followed by blessing of the waters and throwing of the cross at 12:30-1:30, and ending with a huge block party of Greek food, dancing, and music lasting until 9pm! It was full of life and definitely the place to be.