PM Mitsotakis, Archbishop Elpidophoros Join Thousands at Tarpon Springs Epiphany Celebration

Archbishop Elpidophoros and PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Saint Nicholas’ Church of Tarpon Springs, Florida. Credit: AMNA

Greek Orthodox Archbishop of America Elpidophoros and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis attended the world’s largest Epiphany celebration in Tarpon Springs, Florida, on Monday morning, local time.

A number of Greek-American teenage boys aged 16 to 18 participated in the Epiphany cross dive in Spring Bayou off Tarpon Springs, in the belief that the person who retrieves the cross will be blessed with good luck for the rest of the year.

Young boys trying to catch the holy cross in Tarpon Springs, Florida

This year, Hunter Sakadales, who is eighteen years old, dove into the water and victoriously retrieved the cross.

It is believed that as many as 25,000 people attended the celebrations, in what was certainly the largest-ever Tarpon Springs Epiphany celebration.

A massive ”Glenti” follows the annual dive for the cross, where thousands enjoy traditional Greek food and drinks as part of the great feast of Epiphany, celebrated every January 6th.

Archbishop Elpidophoros had invited Prime Minister Mitsotakis to visit the town on Epiphany, one day before he meets with US President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, DC.

The Greek Orthodox Christian celebration of the Feast of the Epiphany, celebrated with great fanfare each year in Tarpon Springs, is the largest of its kind in the entire world.

PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his wife Mareva Grabowski arrive at the site of the Epiphany celebrations. Credit: https://twitter.com/Ant_Karaxalios

The dive for the cross commemorates the baptism of Jesus Christ by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. It is part of a two-day celebration filled with an array of religious and cultural events which Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Tarpon Springs has hosted for the past 114 years.