Ithaca Greece ..
After the short church service, the congregation head toward the pier where the priest will bless the water and then throw the cross. Everyone huddles close to the priest, everyone puts a big smile on their faces as they admire the boys who will brave the cold. Each year, in the afterglow of this celebration, several of the young men (and not so young) proclaim that next year, they too will dive for the cross on Epiphany, but this is an annual proclamation that never comes to pass. When it comes down to it, very few boys, girls, men and women, are willing to take off their clothes to dive into the cold winter sea. In Frikes, for as long as ithacagreece.com has covered this event, Gerasimos has been the bravest of the N/locals.
It feels like just yesterday we celebrated Epiphany on Ithaca, but here we are again. This year there were fewer people coming out, even though the day was blue-skied and quite mild for this time of year, but nevertheless the spirit of all those who were missing from the ceremony was present. There is always such a good feeling on this traditional day. Kioni, Vathy and Frikes hold Epiphany, where young boys of the villages dive into the winter sea for the cross thrown by the local priest, after a quick liturgy at the local church. It's a big day all over Greece and wherever there is a large Greek community, in Melbourne Australia, for example. On Ithaca, don't expect a big show. It's a quiet and intimate event held each year on the 6th January.

Right - The priest blesses the water
Above - The boys, Babbis and Gerasimos prepare to dive

EPIPHANY Frikes Wednesday 6th January 2010


Ithaca Greece


Above Right - This year Babbis was first to retrieve the cross, but as is the character of all the boys who dive for the cross, the win is always shared.