- Title: Orthodox Christians in Turkey celebrate Epiphany with dive for the cross
- Date: 6th January 2017
- Summary: ISTANBUL, TURKEY (JANUARY 6, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PEOPLE AND SECURITY OFFICIALS WAITING OUTSIDE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHY CHURCH EXTERIOR PEOPLE WALKING INTO THE CHURCH LIT CANDLES INSIDE THE CHURCH VARIOUS OF PEOPLE LIGHTING CANDLES VARIOUS OF GREEK ORTHODOX ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH BARTHOLOMEW CONDUCTING EPIPHANY CHURCH SERVICE VARIOUS OF CONGREGATION AND CLERGY DURING CEREMONY PEOPLE GATHERED BY GOLDEN HORN WATERWAY, WATCHING MEN ON BOAT STANDING VARIOUS OF MEN ON BOAT WAITING TO DIVE INTO WATER PEOPLE WATCHING / JOURNALISTS FILMING GREEK ORTHODOX ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH BARTHOLOMEW THROWING WOODEN CRUCIFIX INTO THE WATER MEN SWIMMING TO RETRIEVE CROSS, MEN IN WATER KISSING CRUCIFIX AFTER IT HAS BEEN RETRIEVED JOURNALISTS TAKING PICTURES OF BARTHOLOMEW AND MEMBERS OF CLERGY VARIOUS OF MEN GETTING OUT OF WATER JOURNALISTS TAKING PICTURES JOURNALISTS INTERVIEWING GREEK CITIZEN WHO RETRIEVED CRUCIFIX, NIKOLAS SOLIS CAMERAMAN FILMING SOLIS (SOUNDBITE) (English) GREEK CITIZEN WHO RETRIEVED CROSS, NIKOLAS SOLIS, SAYING: "I'm a personal trainer in Greece and every year I jump for the cross. This is the second time here that I catch the cross and in Greece, 11 years, catch the cross." GREEK ORTHODOX ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH BARTHOLOMEW LEAVING
- Embargoed: 21st January 2017 11:12
- Keywords: Turkey Epiphany Orthodox Christians religion cross tradition
- Location: ISTANBUL, TURKEY
- City: ISTANBUL, TURKEY
- Country: Turkey
- Topics: Religion/Belief,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA0015XY02TJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Orthodox Christians in the Turkish city of Istanbul attended on Friday (January 6) the annual epiphany celebrations which include a traditional church service and a dive in the Golden Horn waters to retrieve a wooden crucifix.
Security officials were highly visible in the area around the Ecumenical Patriarchy in Istanbul where Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew conducted the church ceremony.
As part of a tradition dating back to Byzantine times, Bartholomew then walked down to the Golden Horn where he threw a cross into the water and young divers plunged in, competing to retrieve it. Hundreds of people and reporters attended the ceremony known as the "Blessing of the Waters".
The cross, which is blessed by the priest, is believed to bring good luck for the year ahead to those who retrieve it.
Greek citizen Nikolas Solis recovered the wooden cross from the water for the second consecutive year in Istanbul.
The ritual of throwing a cross into the water commemorates the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River.
Hundreds of members of Istanbul's Greek Orthodox community attend the ceremony every year on the banks of the stretch of water known as the Golden Horn, which cuts into the western side of the Bosphorus, dividing the city's European and Asian sides.
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