The Epiphany Ceremony in Larnaca - Fota

Trip Start May 27, 2012
Trip End Jan 22, 2013

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Flag of Cyprus  , Larnaca,
Sunday, January 6, 2013

It is January 6 today and like every year this specific day has a religious nature. It is the day of Epiphany or (The feast of Light) as it is called in Greek –Ta fota, and it is a significant religious celebration for Greeks and Orthodoxy.

My original plan was to get to St. Lazarus Church in the morning and then accompany the Cross with the rest of the people as far as the marina. I cannot even remember the last time I have been in such ceremony.

Unfortunately, I could not make it to the church as I had a meeting to attend to.  Luckily where I stay is very close to the marina and I had to cut the meeting short to hurry to the beachfront when I heard the bells ringing. You see, with the ringing of the bells the service is over and the religious procession heads towards the beach.

I interrupt the meeting ignorant that every few steps the procession stops on the way and I mix with the crowds trying to find the best spot to take some good shots. I heard people saying that they were waiting out there for more than 2 hours!! I am at least lucky that I only came half an hour earlier.   

People keep gathering and as time goes by the band tunes become louder and louder. It is unbelievable how slow they procession moves because the Church of Saint Lazarus is only a 5 minute walk from the marina!

In the meantime the sun is hiding behind clouds and I feel kind of cold at times but I cannot leave the spot I found and go to fetch my jacket.  I am sitting on some rocks…. actually half sitting half in the air for more than 15 minutes until the guy sitting next to me leaves and I sit properly. I know that if I don't keep concentrated on my balance I will surely fall in the water!

Finally the ceremony starts and the Bishop throws the Holy Cross into the sea.  The young men you see in the photos dive into the water to retrieve the cross and return it to the priest. The Holy Cross is in the water three times, and the one who gets the cross first is supposed to be lucky the year round.

To make story short my (TravelPod) friend Mary, the one I met on my previous trip when I reached Platres is staying at a neighbouring hotel with her husband and children. They are here from Paphos for a few days touring around Larnaca.  

I am happily surprised so we arrange to meet after the ceremony is over.  

*If you wish to watch the whole ceremony click on the link below.
I apologize if the video at times is not so steady. The zooming and distance, the rock I was sitting on are the three causes of shaking at times. 

My Video

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derrick241 on

A great array of photographs, and discription of the parade, everyone always sems to qeue for hours to see them, no matter where they are, so it was a good result with just waiting 30 minutes

odiseya on

I like this story! We celebrate The Epiphany of the Lord on 19th January according the old Julian calendar and in Banja Luka is host for the same event. Good job!

greekcypriot on

Thanks to the meeting Derrick. Otherwise I would have gone to the Church.
Aleksandra I am glad you liked the story and thanks for the comments indeed.

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