Our waters will be twice as blessed this week, with further Theofania celebrations happening around Australia this Sunday.
The traditional calendar day was this Monday, with most capital cities blessing their waters and with members of the Greek community clamouring to grab the cross to ensure they get good luck in the year.
In Melbourne, celebrations were a little uncomfortable after a chilly morning deterred a couple of would-be swimmers. In Rye, Frankston and Geelong a few young men agreed the pay off was worth the chill and braved the cold to jump in for the cross.
Nathan Taylor was lucky enough to snatch the cross in Frankston, having to fight off gale force winds alongside the other swimmers. It was an extra special celebration in Frankston, as the local parish, the Church of Theofania, was celebrating its name day. The Greek community of Frankston came out in droves, and set up barbeques and souvles to keep the cold crowd happy munching on pites.
In Rye, last year’s winner, half-Greek half-Italian Marko La Greka used his last bit of good luck and managed to grab the cross again. He was greeted by Father Elefterios Tatsis, who gave him a specially blessed gold cross as a keepsake.
In Geelong, Nicholas Alesios had prime position on Geelong pier and swam the cross back to Father Anargyros Moragianni with a big smile on his face.
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia is organising a joint celebration in all states on Sunday and will be complemented by festivals filled with good Greek food and traditional dancing and music to go through the night.
Read below for information on what’s happening in your capital city.
Archbishop Stylianos will be leading proceedings at Yarra Bay Bicentennial Park at 1.00 pm, with a glendi starting at 2.00 pm featuring traditional music and folk dancing and Greek food.
For the 30th consecutive year celebrating in Port Melbourne, Bishop Ezekiel of Dervis and Bishop Iakovos of Miletoupolis will start proceedings at Princess Pier at 1.00 pm in Port Melbourne. After the blessing of the waters, parishioners will be entertained by traditional music and folk dancing and rides for the young at heart. Greek food will also be on offer.
Once again, Redcliffe jetty in Brisbane will be holding their annual celebrations at 11.00 am, overseen by Father Lauvrentios. Lots of traditional food will be available.
In the Gold Coast, Father Roman will be holding a church service at St Anna Church from 7.30 am till 10.30 am, and will then lead a procession to Evandale Lake for the blessing of the waters at 11.00 am. After the blessing, the procession will be led back to the church’s hall where a paniyiri will be held.
Bishop Nikandros of Dorylaeon will be leading proceedings at Glenelg jetty at 12.15 pm. Both sides of politics will be there including South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill and Leader of the Opposition Steven Marshall.
After the blessing of the waters, festivities will continue, including traditional dancing and music with lots of Greek food.
The Greek Orthodox Community of South Australia will be holding their blessing of the waters at Henley Beach at 12.00 pm, with Metropolitan Prokopios of Adelaide leading proceedings. Mr Paul Caica will be representing the Premier of South Australia and Mr David Ridgeway will be representing the opposition. Festivities including Greek dancing, music and food will follow the formal ceremony.
Eight priests will gather at 12.30 pm at Matilda Bay in Perth to bless the waters, with a paniyiri planned after the ceremony with local dancing groups, Greek music and food organised for the day.