Thousands of people are expected to arrive in Tarpon Springs for the 110th Epiphany celebration, to be held on Wednesday, January 6, at the historic St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral and Spring Bayou.
According to Greek Orthodox religion Epiphany commemorates the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, seen as his manifestation to the world as the Son of God. In Tarpon Springs, the is greatly celebrated, with a church service and the Blessing of the Waters, a procession to Spring Bayou and the cross retrieval, where 52 young men will search for a cross thrown into the water. The events conclude with a feast called Epiphany Glendi.
“This Holy Event is not merely a yearly symbolic re-enactment, but a “real-time” transformation of nature,” said the Father James Rousakis from St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral. “Therefore, we here in the Tarpon Springs area become recipients of the true metamorphosis of our environment. We are protected from above.”
The schedule is as follows:
Tuesday, January 5
Noon Blessing of the Fleet at the Sponge Docks
Wednesday, Janury 6
8 am Orthos
10 am Divine Liturgy
Noon Great Blessing of the Waters at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral
12:30 pm Processional to Spring Bayou
Invocation and release of the dove
12:30 to 6 pm
Epiphany Glendi feast at St. Nicholas Community Center (348 N. Pinellas Ave.)
The Epiphany Glendi offers traditional food, drinks and music. The feast will feature traditional Greek dancing performed by various dance groups.