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The “City of Epiphany” Tarpon Springs Celebrated with Blessing of Waters (Photos)

TARPON SPRINGS, Fla – Greek-American George Stamas, 16, came up with the white cross during the annual cross dive in the Spring Bayou, part of the Epiphany celebration on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, in Tarpon Springs, Florida.

Greek-Orthodox Christians all over the world celebrated Epiphany Friday with blessing of the waters ceremonies.

By tradition, a crucifix is cast into the waters of a lake or river, and it is believed that the person who retrieves it will be freed from evil spirits and will be healthy through the year.

George Stamas, 16, comes up with the white cross during the annual cross dive in the Spring Bayou, part of the Epiphany celebration on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, in Tarpon Springs, Fla. (Angelica Edwards/Tampa Bay Times via AP)

In Tarpon Springs, after the cross was fished out, His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, celebrated with George Stamas and sprinkled believers with water using a bunch of basil.

George Stamas, 16, of Tarpon Springs, clutches the white cross after being the first to reach it in Spring Bayou, part of the Epiphany celebration on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, in Tarpon Springs, Fla. (Angelica Edwards/Tampa Bay Times via AP)
George Stamas, 16, of Tarpon Springs, clutches the white cross after being the first to reach it in Spring Bayou, part of the Epiphany celebration on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, in Tarpon Springs, Fla. (Angelica Edwards/Tampa Bay Times via AP)
George Stamas, 16, comes up with the white cross during the annual cross dive in the Spring Bayou, part of the Epiphany celebration on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, in Tarpon Springs, Fla. (Jefferee Woo/Tampa Bay Times via AP)
George Stamas, 16, comes up with the white cross during the annual cross dive in the Spring Bayou, part of the Epiphany celebration on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, in Tarpon Springs, Fla. (Jefferee Woo/Tampa Bay Times via AP)
George Stamas, 16, comes up with the white cross during the annual cross dive in the Spring Bayou, part of the Epiphany celebration on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, in Tarpon Springs, Fla. (Jefferee Woo/Tampa Bay Times via AP)
George Stamas, 16, is hoisted up by fellow cross divers, after he comes up with the white cross during the annual cross dive in the Spring Bayou, part of the Epiphany celebration on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, in Tarpon Springs, Fla. (Jefferee Woo/Tampa Bay Times via AP)

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