Volume 73, Number 39 | January 28 - February 03, 2004



Greek Epiphany is a splash

With the temperature around 20 degrees, 11 men jumped into the East River and swam after a cross on Mon. Jan. 19 as part of the traditional Greek Orthodox annual ceremony of the Epiphany. Saint Markella Cathedral in Astoria organized the celebration at the South St. Seaport. The church’s Bishop Christodoulos of Theoupolis said the diving after the cross symbolized “effort for the glory of God.” Angelo Pippis, being hoisted above, at right, won the race to the cross. Bishop Christodoulos said although finding the cross has no religious significance, it is an honor nonetheless. “It doesn’t mean he is more blessed, but it is a special thing for him individually,” he said. The Police and Fire Departments each had boats standing by for safety. The cross is made from wood, so it floats, but in Greece, it is usually made out of precious metals and sinks to the bottom. The bishop said they used wood because the East River has strong currents and the water is not clear. Epiphany marks the baptism of Christ.


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