Freelancer and aspiring journalist from Adelaide. Visual Arts graduate & current journalism student. Fashion, lifestyle, entertainment, art & food. I also write for The Adelaidian // theadelaidian.net/author/georgina-tselekidis
One of the Largest Celebrations on the Orthodox Calendar
If you're a fan of Greek food, dance and free festivals, then you'll be happy to know that January has reserved yet another Greek event for all to enjoy. Located at Glenelg Foreshore, this special day celebrates the traditional and religious service of Blessing of the Waters.
If you're intrigued by this event and are wondering what "Blessing of the Waters" is, then you're in for a surprise! It's an extremely important day and occasion on the Greek Orthodox calendar, and within the Orthodox community. As a religious culture, we continue to follow principles that have been passed through generations. This is one of them. Greek men worldwide take part in the Blessing of the Waters, where they dive from the jetty as the priest throws the cross deep into the ocean. The men must swim and seek the cross, unknowing of its depth or whereabouts. This is an intense event, that in the end promises the finder a year of good fortune and prosperity. Only males are permitted to take part in the diving of the cross.
The Blessing of the Waters symbolises many things in Orthodox faith, including the Baptism of Jesus by Saint John the Baptist in the Jordan River. It is meant to symbolise and affirm the creation of humanity with the sanctifying presence of God. This ritual is also called Theophany (God shining forth or divine manifestation) or Phota (Lights). It occurs 15 days after Christmas Eve, however is always celebrated on January 10.
This event always brings about spectators and passersby watching in curiosity, which nicely demonstrates a sense of community. It's a significant day for Greek Orthodox people, but overall it is seen as a fun event. People of diverse cultures and backgrounds are all welcome and encouraged to watch. It's a fascinating event that is definitely unique, different, sacred and beautiful. With free entry all day, be sure to stick around after the blessing for some traditional food, Greek music, dance and entertainment.