One of my favourite Greek websites is ‘Keep Talking Greece’, (usually referred to as ‘KTG’) an English language news blog site run by a Greek woman. I know little about her apart from the fact that she speaks, reads and writes both English and German, as well as her native Greek. And that she lives somewhere in Athens. She appears to do it on her own, which is quite impressive, given the content.
I like the KTG site because as well as briefly covering the main news stories, she also digs up some quirky little local gems which are good for a smile. She has a wry sense of humour which she brings to her writing, making it all the more enjoyable to read.
Which brings me to Epiphany, and a couple of the articles in KTG today.
In Greece, Epiphany is an important day in the Greek religious calendar, and since the Greeks are, by and large, a fairly religious people, it is a big day generally. A holiday, naturally. One of the highlights of the Greek Orthodox Epiphany is the ‘Blessing of the Waters’ ceremony, which as often as not involves the mayor or someone similar releasing a white dove symbolising the Holy Spirit. In Kalamata, however, things didn’t go exactly to plan. and when the dove was released, supposedly to soar into the sky, it instead plummeted lifelessly into the waters below. Much to the consternation of all present. Still, what to do? You can hardly fish the thing out with a pole mid-chant, to drop in a soggy, dead heap at the priest’s feet, can you? So the deceased dove bobbed around on the waters below as the proceedings above tried to ignore it.
Το στιγμιότυπο με το νεκρό περιστέρι να φεύγει από τα χέρια του Π. Νίκα..Διαβάστε το άρθρο:http://best-tv.gr/το-έπνιξε-ο-νίκας-το-περιστέρι/
Posted by Best Tv Kalamata on Saturday, January 6, 2018
Another of the traditions associated with the ‘Blessing of the Waters’ is that the priest will, towards the end of the ceremony, throw a cross into the water, and the young men will then dive in and try to be the one to find the cross and hold it aloft. This brings blessings upon the finder’s head. Bear in mind that at this time of year, it’s usually pretty damn cold, so participating in this tradition takes some determination. In Kiato, a town mid way between Patras and Corinth, one of the swimmers was so determined to get the blessing that he mugged the guy who actually found the cross, and claimed it for his own, thus sparking a mini riot on the quayside when the swimmers returned to shore. Police had to restore order.
There are several other amusing ‘Epiphany Events’ noted here. Good for a chuckle.
For me personally, Epiphany merely represents getting back to normal after the mania surrounding Christmas and New Year. The crowds have now dissipated, I no longer have to listen to awful ‘Christmas songs’ in the supermarket (why do they do that to people?) and all the tacky ‘Christmas Scenes’ have disappeared from shop window displays.
And as an added bonus, the days are getting longer!