Greek-Americans Celebrate the Epiphany with Annual Cross Dive in Tarpon Springs (photos and video)

The Greek Orthodox celebration of the Epiphany is celebrated each year in Tarpon Springs, Florida. On Friday dozens of Greek teenage boys participated in the dive to fetch the cross in Spring Bayou with the belief that the person who retrieves it will be blessed with good luck for the rest of the year.

This year 18-year-old Joseph Cooley dove into the water and victoriously retrieved the cross. It is an emotional occasion, as Greeks believe that the one who relieves the cross was chosen by God, and the entire crowd celebrated this sentiment.

“It feels amazing,” Cooley said to Fox 13 News. “There’s no way to describe it. It was just awesome – every bit of it.”

The dive is part of a two-day celebration filled with different religious and cultural events that the Greek Orthodox St. Nicholas Church in Tarpon Springs has organized for the past 111 years.