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Customs & Traditions

The Custom of the Holy Cross

Every year, on the 6th of January, on the day of the celebration of the Epiphany, the Sanctification of the Water is being held in utter formality, in memory of the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan.

The priest throws the Cross in the water and the courageous congregants, defying the cold, are diving in order to drag it up.The one who finds it first is considered blessed. In places without sea, the Cross is being thrown in rivers, lakes, aqueducts or tanks.

After that, in some villages there is an offertory of the Cross, from house to house. Tradition from place to place may differ and customs vary. A characteristic example is Ragoutsaria of Kastoria.