Orthodox celebrate epiphany in Istanbul
Apostoloes Oikonomov was the first to reach the cross in Fener celebrations. He returned it to the patriarch who awarded him with a golden cross pendant. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜRELOrthodox Christians in Istanbul reenacted the baptism of Christ with a traditional cross-throwing ceremony Jan. 6 at several waterfront locations in the city.
After a three-hour ceremony held by Patriarch Bartholomew at the Fener Greek Patriarchate, a group of priests and faithful Orthodox Christians went to the Fener dock where the patriarch threw a large cross into the sea, the Anatolia news agency reported.
As the Patriarch Bartholomew threw the cross into the sea, 18 people, including one woman, jumped in the water.
Greek Apostoloes Oikonomov was the first to reach the cross and return it to the patriarch, who awarded him with a golden cross pendant.
A similar ceremony was held in the city’s Üsküdar municipality. After a two-hour ceremony held at the Eastern Orthodox Aya Yorgi Church Metropolitan, Bishop Halkidonos threw the cross into the sea.
Young men Georgios Mastrovasilis, Diamyanos Balıkçıoğlu, Bayram Baklacıoğlu and Emin Papazoğlu assembled as part of the group and jumped into the cold water, all swimming to reach the cross and bring it back to dry land. Baklacıoğlu was first to reach the cross and return it.