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The Epiphany

   The Epiphany (Θεοφάνεια or Επιφάνια) is the second big holiday of the year. It's celebrated on the 6th of January.
   On the eve of the Epiphany the priests are out in the streets blessing each house and the residents. They enter the house and sprinkle holy water by dipping a branch of basil in to the holy water bowl.

   The day of Epiphany, also called Fota, the big blessing is taking place. In the areas that are close to the sea, the priests with a big crowd, head for the water. There, usually at a port site, they bless the sea water and throw a Cross into the sea. Divers, usually younger men, dive to find and bring back to the surface the Cross. Everybody returns home taking Holy Water with them. They drink some of it, and sprinkle some onto their properties, businesses or anything valuable to the family to bless it.

   Christ was baptized and with his baptism he blessed the waters. That day, the Epiphany, was the day that the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit appeared in front of humanity. The second name Fota is there, probably because the appearance of God gave the "light" to the people. Fota (φώτα) is the plural of the word "φως" which means "light".

   This Celebration concludes the big holiday period that starts with Christmas. It's worth mentioning that the day after the Epiphany on the 7th of January we celebrate St. John the Baptist. The person that baptized Christ.


   The people believe that on the Eve of the Epiphany the goblins (καλλικάντζαροι) leave before the blessing starts. They are again going under the earth to start sawing the big tree that holds it.
   Also you should know that carols for the Epiphany are sung in many places of Greece on the Eve of the celebration.

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