HomeTURKEY TRAVELLERSRELIGIOUS TRAVELLERTurkey’s Orthodox community marks Epiphany with dive for cross in the Golden...

Turkey’s Orthodox community marks Epiphany with dive for cross in the Golden Horn, Istanbul

Haliç’ten haç çıkarma töreni 2023 Hristiyan inancına göre İsa’nın doğumu ve vaftiz edilişinin 2023. yıl dönümü, Fener Rum Patrikhanesi’nde düzenlenen ayin ve Haliç’te düzenlenen haç çıkarma töreniyle kutlandı.

According to the Christian belief, St. The 2023th anniversary of the baptism of Jesus was celebrated with a liturgy held at the Fener Greek Patriarchate and an Epiphany ceremony on the shore of the Golden Horn.

Kadıköy Metropolitan Emmanuel Adamakis directed the ceremony held at the Aya Yorgi Church inside the patriarchate. The liturgy, which was also attended by Fener Greek Patriarch Bartholomew, started at 09:00 in the morning.

Those who attended the ceremony lit candles and prayed. After the ceremony in the church, Bartholomew and those who attended the ceremony walked to the Golden Horn beach. Patriarch Bartholomew threw a cross into the water from here. 20 people went into the sea to remove the thrown cross.

Thanos Apostolakis, who came from the island of Crete, was the one who managed to get the cross this year. Apostolakis stated that he attended this ceremony for the first time and he was very happy.

During the ceremony, while the maritime police and coast guard team took security measures with 2 boats, many people followed the ceremony. In addition to the ceremony in Balat, Epiphany ceremonies were held simultaneously in Samatya, Yeşilköy, Büyükada and the Bosphorus. Turkey’s Orthodox community gathered in Istanbul’s various neighborhoods on Jan. 6 to mark Epiphany, a Christian belief and feast day that celebrated the revelation of God incarnate as Jesus Christ, with believers retrieving cross out of the sea.

The central location for the celebrations was in the St. George Church in the Balat neighborhood of Fatih district. Patriarch Bartholomew I, spiritual leader for millions of Orthodox, presided over the four-hour ceremony, where a limited number of people were allowed due to COVID-19 measures. Prominent Turkish historian İlber Ortaylı was among the guests of the religious ceremony. After the service, a crowd of priests and believers walked nearby the Golden Horn shore.Orthodox Christians have marked Epiphany in Istanbul, with an old ritual: Swimmers jump into the waters of the Golden Horn to retrieve a crucifix – thrown in by Patriarch Bartholomew I. It is believed that whoever retrieves the cross will be rewarded with a year of blessings.

Christians in Istanbul celebrate Epiphany with zeal. Central location for celebrations was the coast of Golden Horn, where Patriarch Bartholomew I, spiritual leader for millions of Orthodox faithful in the world, presided the ceremony at Fener Greek Orthodox Patriarchate. Patriarch Bartholomew I leads the Epiphany service at Aya Yorgi Church, in Istanbul, Turkey, Jan. 6, 2022. Later, a crowd comprised of priests and the congregation walked to nearby Golden Horn shore.

The faithful jumped into sea in Kuzguncuk and Yeşilköy neighborhoods for simultaneous Epiphany ceremonies elsewhere in Istanbul, along with Büyükada, one of Princes’ Islands off the shore of Istanbul.

Istanbul Rum Tradition: On Jan. 6, Epiphany, bishops throw crosses into the sea. The spectacle is welcomed by all religions & particularly appreciated by fisherman & sailors. Divers for the cross are traditionally men, but this year in Kınalıda, Istanbul, the victor was a woman. If the winning diver is Christian, s/he receives a gold cross. If s/he is Muslim, s/he receives a gold medallion. All fisherman, regardless of religion, consider it very bad luck if the cross is not thrown into the sea due to bad weather. *Kınalıada/Πρώτη = one of the Prince Islands in the Sea of Marmara. (Nektaria Anastasiadou @NektariaAna)

The religious holiday of Epiphany is also celebrated in some Western Christian churches as Three Kings Day, which marks the visit of the Magi, or the three wise men, to the baby Jesus, and closes the Christmas season.



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