Celebration of Epiphany

Celebration of Epiphany
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Posted by Greeka on 04 Jan 2010

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The celebrated three-day holiday between the 5th and 7th of January is known in Greece as the "three days of Lights". The 5th of January is called Epiphany's Eve, the 6th is the day of the Epiphany and the 7th is the celebration of Saint John the Baptist, who is also called Saint John "Prodromos" in Greece. Prodromos means "the Forerunner", he who lived before Jesus to prepare people for His arrival. Within these three days, there are many special ceremonies all over the country that create a very celebrating feeling.

On January 5th, the Epiphany's Eve, the kids run out in the streets, visiting houses, to sing the traditional carols of the day. Carols may be different in every region but they all inform people about the next day's celebrations. In some places, priests are visiting people as well, to bless the house and drive away the evil goblins that visited the upper earth on Christmas day, according to the tradition. It is also believed that on this same night, the sky is so open that whoever makes a wish with all his heart, it will become true.

On January 6th, the Day of Epiphany is the celebration of the "water". After the Holy Mass, the priest and the pilgrims will go to the nearest water (lake, river, sea) and will stand up for the "Dive of the Cross". The priest will dive the cross into the water and people will swim and try to catch it. Whoever catches first the cross out of the cold winter water, he will be blessed and lucky for this year. At the port of Piraeus, the horns of the boats are so loud that they can be heard all over the city.

January 7th is one of the six days of the year that the Christian Church has dedicated to Saint John the Baptist. This is a big celebration day in Greece, with lots of people attending the Holy Mass.

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