Annual Epiphany celebration and cross dive returns to Tarpon Springs for 117th year - ÖZGÜR HABERLER

Annual Epiphany celebration and cross dive returns to Tarpon Springs for 117th year

Annual Epiphany celebration and cross dive returns to Tarpon Springs for 117th year TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. – It’s a timeless tradition celebrated every year by the Greek Orthodox Church, and on Friday,..

Annual Epiphany celebration and cross dive returns to Tarpon Springs for 117th year
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Annual Epiphany celebration and cross dive returns to Tarpon Springs for 117th year

It’s a timeless tradition celebrated every year by the Greek Orthodox Church, and on Friday, large crowds turned out for the 117th Epiphany Celebration in Tarpon Springs.

To honor the baptism of Jesus Christ, an archbishop blessed the waters of Spring Bayou and 65 teenage boys jumped in to retrieve a wooden cross thrown in by the bishop.

16-year-old George Stamas was the 2023 cross dive winner.

This year, 16-year-old George Stamas, who lives in Tarpon Springs, reached the cross first.

He is the cousin of the 2018 winner, Christian Chrysakis. His great-grandfather also retrieved the cross back in 1938.

16-year-old George Stamas, who retrieved the wooden cross at the 117th annual Epiphany Celebration in Tarpon Springs, poses for a photo with his family.

16-year-old George Stamas, who retrieved the wooden cross at the 117th annual Epiphany Celebration in Tarpon Springs, poses for a photo with his family.

Stamas is currently the Tarpon Springs High School quarterback for his football team.

It’s said to bring good luck to the person who retrieves it for the rest of the year. It’s a rite of passage for those who participate, and they have to be in good standing with the church.

George Stamas was carried by his peers after the cross dive.

Last year, 16-year-old Alexander Makris of New Port Richey emerged with the cross held high in the air.

This is the 117th year of the celebration – and it is the largest Epiphany Celebration in the Western Hemisphere.

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