On January 6th, the day of Epiphany, the Greek Orthodox Church celebrates the Baptism of Jesus Christ. In Greece this is a day full of festivities and old traditions.

One of them is the festival of Epiphany or The Blessing of the Waters. In the morning of January 6th the local priest of the Orthodox Church throws a wooden cross in the sea. All the young men who are brave enough to jump into the freezing cold water try to retrieve it. The one who succeeds gets good luck and the priest’s blessing for this year. After that there is also the chance for small boats and ships to get the blessing and later the day is celebrated with much food, drinks, music and dance.

Another very common tradition is that the children dress up, go from house to house and sing carols which are really old and go way back, in order to receive some sweets or a little money. Also some of the adults dress up, but different from the children they wear scary masks to exorcise the evil spirits from the towns and villages.

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