994 – the "Epiphany" ritual at Grigoriou

I found these pictures of a ritual that takes place in sea near the boathouse of the monastery Grigoriou.

Grigoriou_diving_after_a_cross_1
A wooden cross is thrown into the sea and a couple of men dive after it.

Grigoriou_diving_after_a_cross_2
They swim for it and…

Grigoriou_diving_after_a_cross_3
the fittest of them all finally wins,

Grigoriou_diving_after_a_cross_4
whereafter a loser crawls out of the water with the help of the abbot (?).

Who knows more about this event? Why does it take place and when?

Wim, 10/2

Thanks for all your expertise and the links you shared (see comments)!

Wim, 11/2

 

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5 Responses to 994 – the "Epiphany" ritual at Grigoriou

  1. Dimitris says:

    Welcome back!

    We are looking forward to the excellent trip reviews and photos that I am sure will follow!

  2. Bertinos says:

    Theophany is also a major feast in Ethiopia (where it is called “Timkat”). http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/pop_ups/07/in_pictures_festival_of_timkat/html/7.stm offers some pictures

  3. Nick says:

    That is a visiting bishop (the abbot is a priest.) It is hard to see but presumably the man in the water is handing back to the bishop the cross that he just threw into the water. The bishop is not helping the man out of the water (the laymen would do that if he actually needed help but look at the first picture to see he could easily walk out of the water.)

  4. Goran says:

    You can also see this event on the Feast of Theophany (Bogojavljenje) in Serbia, across the whole land http://goo.gl/Pw9HLl

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