Hello, Today I traveled to Tarpon Springs, FL to witness their Epiphany celebration. It is a big annual event in this beautiful Greek town. The following is copied from the St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral press release about the event:
Following the Divine Liturgy and Great Blessing of the waters, Archbishop Demetrios, hierarchs, clergy, dignitaries and thousands of people will form an impressive procession to Spring Bayou, with school children in traditional costumes, choir members, Greek Folk dance groups from throughout the Tampa Bay Area. There, an invocation is recited, a young lady releases a white dove symbolizing the Holy Spirit to fly over the Bayou, an additional 105 doves will then be released celebrating the 105 years the holy spirit has bestowed upon Tarpon Springs. The Archbishop will cast a white cross into the water and some seventy-eight young men will dive for the cross, each seeking the honor of retrieving it. The retriever then kneels with the cross
before the Archbishop for a blessing
After a rainy night is was a cool but beautiful day. The events takes place at a park on the water that is a wonderful place to visit any day. In the top photo you can see the string of boats the divers swim to in order to wait for the cross to be toss into the water.
Here you can see the divers arriving.
Here are a few shots of the divers jumping into the water for the first time.
They then wait for the cross to be thrown into the water by the Archbishop.
Finally the cross is cast into the water! can you see it? It is off to the right from the center.
It was captured very quickly by Louis Pappas. Amazing just how fast this went!
I took all of these photos from the across the water with my 70-300mm lens. Therefore I was unable to take any photographs of the procession. This being the first time I attended the event I didn't know what to expect. It is a lot of fun to witness unique celebrations like this!