“The Epiphany ceremony has its roots to ancient Greek customs. The ancient Athenians, for example, had a ceremony known as “Wash”. During this ceremony the believers procession carried the sacred statue of goddess Athena to the Faliro coast, nearby Athens, where they washed it using salty sea water. They believed that this way they were cleaning it from the dirt and were renewing their sacred forces.
The Baptism of Christ symbolizes the rebirth of man. Its vast importance for the Greek Orthodox Church is the reason why, until the fourth century, Christians celebrated the New Year’s day on January 6, along with the Baptism of Christ. The basic ritual of the Epiphany is diving a Christian cross to the sea for the “Blessing of the Water”. Although this ritual symbolizes the Baptism of Christ, in Greek ancient ethimologia it has, also, the meaning of purification and elimination of the demons’ influences. It is a common folk belief that even the pictures used for Christian worship inside churches lose their original blessing strength through the years. Such a picture will gain its lost characteristics when treated with holy water during the Epiphany ceremony.
This Great Blessing takes place within the church, onto a special platform supporting a container full of holy water. The believers must have fasted, at least one day, to drink the holy water. After the church ceremony completes, follows the dive of the Christian cross to the sea, a nearby river or lake.”
I’m working on this project, since 2008, every year on January 6, in various regions of Crete.