Greek Orthodox Christians across Cyprus celebrate the Epiphany on Saturday, one of the most important days on the Greek Orthodox calendar.

The day marks the baptism of Jesus Christ in the River Jordan by St John the Baptist and is commemorated by a blessing of the waters, whether they be rivers, lakes, or seas, by a priest.

As per tradition, the priest throws a cross into the water, before young men and boys dive in after it to retrieve the cross.

The person who retrieves the cross is then blessed by the priest for the year ahead.

On Saturday morning, services were held across the Republic, but also in the north. Bishop of Karpasia Christoforos held a service in the village of Ayia Triada in the Karpass peninsula, before the waters at the creek of Ayios Thryrsos were blessed.

Epiphany celebrations in Paphos

Epiphany celebrations in Paphos

Elsewhere, President Nikos Christodoulides attended celebrations in Larnaca, where Archbishop Georgios as well as Bishop of Kiti Nektarios held a service at the town’s Saint Lazarus church.

Christodoulides was joined by Larnaca Mayor Andreas Vyras and National Guard Chief George Tzitzikostas.

Following a service in the church, churchgoers made their way to the Larnaca Marina, where the holy cross was thrown into the sea.

House Speaker Annita Demetriou attended a service at the Ayia Napa church in Limassol. Churchgoers in Limassol then made their way to the city’s old port to bless the waters there.

National Guardsmen lined the route from the church to the sea, while the Limassol Municipality philharmonic band also played.

Other government ministers, deputy ministers, and representatives were set to attend services across the island.

Letymbiotis in Paphos, Epiphany

Government Spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis attended celebrations in Paphos

Those included Government Spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis, who attended celebrations in his hometown of Paphos.

The celebrations centred on the Church of the Holy Unmercenaries before a procession made its way from the church to the Paphos harbour.

Letymbiotis wished churchgoers well, and said he hopes 2024 will be a “hopeful and bright year, and that there will be light in our lives and light in our homeland.”