Theofania, one of the most anticipated events on the Orthodox calendar will be celebrated this Sunday 6 January, with thousands of Greek Australians across the country expected to attend church services and the Blessing of the Waters ceremony.
The commemoration on the 12th day after Christmas marks the baptism of Jesus Christ in the river Jordan by St John the Baptist, with the term Theofania (Epiphany) – originating from the Greek word for ‘manifestation’ – signifying the moment when the Most Holy Trinity was revealed to the world.
Inviting the community to take part in the rituals, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia has organised events in all major cities, including Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide.
Meanwhile, falling on a Sunday, the Blessing of the Waters service is expected to attract an even greater number of attendees compared to previous years.
In Melbourne, the main celebrations will be held in Port Melbourne, with thousands congregating at Princes Pier once again to see who will be the first to retrieve the holy cross and receive, as tradition has it, good luck for the year.
State and local political leaders, as well as community representatives and members will be among those attending the ceremony followed by a paniyiri.
All day events will also be staged in Frankston by the local parish of the Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy Epiphany, with a big turnout expected.
After the morning service at 8.00 am, lay people and clergy will head to the beach for the Blessing of the Waters ceremony before they continue on with celebrations at the afternoon paniyiri with music, dancing and traditional delicacies.
The event is organised in collaboration with the Frankston City Council.
Hundreds will also attend the ceremony at the pier of the seaside town of Rye, organised by the Holy Monastery of Panagia Kamariani in Red Hill.
In Sydney, the main celebrations will be held at Yarra Bay (La Perouse), while in Adelaide the Greek Orthodox Community of SA has organised the Go-Greek Festival at Henley Beach incorporating the 2019 Blessing of the Waters.