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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-01-06

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Epiphany celebrated throughout Greece

  • [01] Epiphany celebrated throughout Greece

    Epiphany was celebrated throughout Greece on Sunday, with the traditional blessing of the waters, and with swimmers diving into the cold waters to retrieve the cross cast in by the priest.

    The main celebration was held in the port of Piraeus, officiated by Metropolital Serafeim of Piraeus and Faliron, and attended by President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias, parliament vice-president Anastasios Nerantzis, employment and social protection minister Fani Palli-Petralia, main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou, Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party leader George Karatzaferis, and Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) MP Theodors Dritsas, Piraeus mayor Panagiotis Fasoulas, Athens-Piraeus supra-prefect Dina Bei, Piraeus prefect Yannis Michas, former prime minister Costas Simitis, and a number of MPs and officials.

    Petralia said afterwards that the Epiphany feast highlighted the values of faith, humbleness and circumspection, adding that "we must all work together for a more just, stronger and humane Greece".

    Prime minister Costas Karamanlis attended the blessing of the waters ceremony in the seaside town of Rafina, where he lives.

    He wished everyone health and progress, and noted the need for extending love to the children and the elderly "who need our care", as well as the need for solidarity to the fellow citizens who were having difficulty in making ends meet.

    The premier further noted the need for respect of our fellow human beings who were far from their homeland, seeking a better future in Greece. "In a difficult conjunction for the whole world, the first thing we must do is to daily forge our unity as a people, and our cohesion as a society," he said.

    At the beginning of the ceremony, Karamanlis released a dove, the symbol of peace, into the air.

    The Rafina ceremony was also attended by deputy foreign minister Petros Doukas, MPs, and Eastern Attica prefect K. Kouris.

    A similar ceremony was held in central Athens, at the Reservoir, attended by interior and public order minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos, foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis, national economy and finance minister George Alogoskoufis, Athens mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis, and MPs.

    Ceremonies were held throughout Greece, and in many cities abroad with large Greek communities.

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