16 Really Cool Photos of Epiphany Celebrations Throughout the Orthodox World

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Epiphany is one of the major holidays of the Orthodox Christian world, commemorating the baptism of Jesus Christ. Waterways, oceans, rivers and canals are blessed and it is customary for homes to be blessed in the ensuing days with holy water.

Different interpretations of the blessing of the waters take place throughout the Orthodox Christian world, usually involving a dive and cross-retrieval in the nearest waterway. In landlocked cities, pools and reservoirs are used.

Two “firsts” took place that were considered historic.

The first blessing of the waters took place in Izmir, Turkey in 94 years since the Asia Minor Catastrophe, where thousand of Greeks perished in those same waters.

The first celebrations also took place in Turkish-Occupied northern Cyprus in 42 years since the island was invaded and subsequently occupied by Turkish troops.

Here are some really interesting photos from Epiphany throughout the Orthodox Christian world:

 

Bartholomew I1) Istanbul, Turkey- Seat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and spiritual center of the Orthodox Christian Church

 

2) Istanbul, Turkey

A swimmer holds an icon after he crossed a fence inside the abandoned coastal city of Famagusta after the epiphany ceremony to bless the waters in the Turkish-occupied  north part of the divided island of Cyprus. More than 1,000 Orthodox Christian faithful attended the annual Epiphany Day blessing of the waters in Famagusta, the first time the ceremony has taken place since 1974 when the small island nation was invaded and occupied by Turkish soldiers.

A swimmer holds an icon after he crossed a fence inside the abandoned coastal city of Famagusta after the epiphany ceremony to bless the waters in the Turkish-occupied north part of the divided island of Cyprus. More than 1,000 Orthodox Christian faithful attended the annual Epiphany Day blessing of the waters in Famagusta, the first time the ceremony has taken place since 1974 when the small island nation was invaded and occupied by Turkish soldiers.

3) Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus

Photo via Faye Lamberg (Facebook)

Photo via Faye Lamberg (Facebook)

4) Astoria, NY

tarpon35) Tarpon Springs, Florida

tarpon26) Tarpon Springs, Florida

A historic site in the harbor of Smyrna (Izmir, Turkey) where the first Epiphany celebration in almost 100 years took place

A historic site in the harbor of Smyrna (Izmir, Turkey) where the first Epiphany celebration in almost 100 years took place

7) Izmir, Turkey (Smyrna)

χανια8) Hania, Crete

cyprus9) Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus

Cyprus Epiphany10) Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus

rethymnon11) Rethymnon, Crete

theofaneia_smyrni212) Izmir, Turkey (Smyrna)

13) Istanbul, Turkey- Seat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and spiritual center of the Orthodox Christian Church

14) Istanbul, Turkey

Bulgarian men dance in the icy waters of the Tundzha river during a celebration for Epiphany Day in the town of Kalofer in Bulgaria

Bulgarian men dance in the icy waters of the Tundzha river during a celebration for Epiphany Day in the town of Kalofer in Bulgaria

15) Bulgaria

16) Bulgaria

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