Epiphany Day in Greece

6 January 2016
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Epiphany Day, also known as Theofania or Fota, is celebrated across Greece each year on January 6 commemorating the baptism of Jesus Christ by John the Baptist, according to the Orthodox Church and the banishing of the mischievous Kalikantzaroi back to the hollow earth, according to popular belief.
During Theofania, priests in all Greek cities and villages bless the waters by throwing a cross into a sea, lake or river while many brave swimmers jump into the cold waters to catch the Cross and get the priest’s blessing for the year.

If there is no living water nearby, the Blessing ceremony is hold outside the church with a baptism font filled with water. People take the Holy Water at home and sprinkle their house, their fields, their animals and they also drink it.

According to Greek Orthodox Church, on that day a miracle happens as the nature of water changes and becomes incorrupt.

During Epiphany day, customs and traditions which date back to ancient times come again to life across Greece, such as Kalanda (carols), Rougkatsia and Ragkoutsaria.

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