Thessaloniki Epiphany Day celebrations to use pools for traditional cross retrieval

Epiphany Day celebrations in Thessaloniki are expected to be followed by the retrieval of the cross from the waters, but mostly from municipal pools, as temperatures are expected to drop near freezing point, accompanied by high winds and rains over the long weekend.

The city’s main church service, attended by politicians, will follow the traditional path: The blessing of the waters will take place at 11.00 at the old promenade (Agias Sofias Str. and Nikis Ave.), and young men will then jump in the Thermaikos Gulf waters to retrieve the cross thrown in the sea by the priest.

Also diving after the cross in the sea will be young men in Karabournaki (Kalamaria), SE of the city center, and a few other locations, while elsewhere most of the church services will be followed by cross retrieval at public pools including the Thessaloniki Sailing Club in Kalamaria.

At 13.00, Kalamaria Mayor Yiannis Dardamanelis will cut the New Year’s cake (Vassilopita) at the Aretsou beach, with the winter sea swimmers of the area.